Menu Fastest And The Three Cruzes In The Top Five In First Taste Of Tianma

Centennial sticker on the cars pays tribute to Louis Chevrolet, a hundred years and one day after the official establishment of the company

It was a special day t for the Chevrolet WTCC team. Not only were they discovering Tianma circuit in Shanghai, which is the inaugural visit of the WTCC to mainland China; yesterday’s testing session also allowed the Cruzes to be on a race track only a few hours after the exact date (3rd November), marking the Centennial of Chevrolet.

To commemorate the event, the RML run Cruzes are sporting the Centennial logo this weekend with Louis Chevrolet’s image on their rear doors and front bonnet.

The founder of the brand received a further tribute when Alain Menu posted the fastest time of the day, with Rob Huff in 4th position and Yvan Muller in 5th, although today’s testing was mainly a working session dedicated to get drivers and cars acquainted with the Tianma circuit. The 2.2km circuit in the outskirts of Shanghai, with its short and twisty design, is posing a number of challenges, and with timings so close, competition is going to be fierce in Saturday's  qualifying and Sunday’s races.

Chinese fans have come in numbers already today, and the Tianma event is expected to be one of the most well attended and lively rounds of the season.

• QUOTESAlain Menu (1st): “A good and promising start of the weekend. My car was well balancedsince the very beginning and I was already fastest with used tires. Clearly, the track is still abit ‘green’ and there is quite a lot of dust coming onto the surface when cars cut the kerbs.Otherwise, gaps are going to be very close here, and overtaking very difficult, so qualifyingin front will be critical.”

Rob Huff (4th): “I had a few complications today, due to the lack of space in this small circuit,which looks like a big go-kart circuit! I was hit by Poulsen early in the session and the boyswill have some body work to do tonight, then I was held up by another car in my good lapwith new tires. Still, I managed to set the fourth time and the balance of the car seemsgood.”

Yvan Muller (5th): “The circuit definitely reminds me of my early years in motorsports, whenI raced big go-karts in small tracks, so it’s a very strange feeling. Traffic is going to be anissue here, as there is literally very little space to pass and get past. It’s not fast either: wenever get to put 6th gear and we are in 5th only briefly, at the end of the straight. I am notentirely satisfied with the balance of the car, and we are going to work on the set up tonightto improve that.”

SHANGHAI TIANMA TESTING RESULT1. A Menu Chevrolet Cruze 1m05s9782. R Dahlgren Volvo C30 Drive + 0s0393. C Turkington BMW 320TC + 0s1254. R Huff Chevrolet Cruze + 0s1385. Y Muller Chevrolet Cruze + 0s153