Yvan Muller and Rob Huff prepare for Driver title’s decisive duel
The 2011 season of the WTCC is coming to an end, but the last round on the streets of Macau will have to deliver a last, crucial verdict, as it will determine who between Yvan Muller and Rob Huff will clinch the Drivers’ crown. The two Chevrolet drivers are separated by 20 points, a margin that is not huge, taking into account that 50 points are still at stake and that Macau is probably the most unpredictable track in the world.
The fast, narrow and challenging Guia circuit in the former Portuguese enclave, whichtraditionally stages the closing event of the WTCC, has always been generous with racesrich in incidents and surprises, gaining a reputation that perfectly matches the city’s statusas one of the world’s gambling hotspots…
Whatever the outcome will be, this year’s will be an exciting finale to an exceptional seasonfor Chevrolet, the RML team, the new Cruze 1.6 turbo and its three drivers (Muller, Huff andMenu, who has also been in contention for the Drivers’ title until the penultimate round), asthe outfit has dominated the 2011 WTCC and reconfirmed both the Manufacturers’ andDrivers’ titles gained in 2010.
To mark this successful moment, the three Cruzes will sport in Macau, a special livery thatwill be unveiled on Thursday during the testing session. In the meantime, the three drivershave stayed in Asia in-between the last two rounds. The Monday after the Race of China,they visited GM’s facility in Shanghai, and they are currently enjoying some days off ahead…the moment of truth!
• QUOTESYvan Muller: “This is the fifth year in a row that I head to Macau to fight for the Drivers’ title,which is already an achievement in itself. I have won the title twice and I have been a vicechampiontwice also, so I hope to bring the count to 3-2. Macau is a circuit like no other,probably the craziest one where I have ever raced. It’s really quite an exceptional place forhaving a title decided, but I love it! For the rest, I’m not making predictions and I am notworking on strategies. I’ll try to do the best I can as always, and we’ll see what happens!”
Rob Huff: “I am currently relaxing a bit in Thailand, it’s the perfect preparation before thegrand-finale! Macau is probably my favorite circuit and I have always been quite successfulthere: three wins and two poles in the last three years. I’m pretty confident I can do well thistime too, and I aim at pole for both races and two race wins to end the season as positivelyas possible! The title? Anything is possible, as in Macau anything can happen and itnormally does…”
Alain Menu: “This final Asian tour is being quite successful for me, as I took the pole andone win at Suzuka and again at Shanghai. I will definitely try to do as well in Macau too,although it’s a pity that I am out for the title battle. I always enjoyed Macau, the track, thecity, the atmosphere. It’s always a little bit of a lottery there, but I hope to do well and to bein front of Yvan and Rob. That would be the best way not to interfere in their title battle!”
Ron Hartvelt: “Macau is Macau, with all its usual excitement, but this year it will beparticularly interesting! Anything can happen, as always there, and our three drivers feelvery confident, so we expect to see some nice racing and a big battle, which is what we allwant! Of course, there is a sense of competition between Yvan and Rob, but the spirit andthe atmosphere are excellent. From a technical point of view, it’s all ok, we had somedamage to Rob’s car in Race 2 in Shanghai, but luckily all three cars are straight. Onceagain, the boys worked hard after the races in Shanghai to pack everything and load thecars into the containers. The cars and the equipment are expected to be unloaded in Macauon Monday, which should leave sufficient time to re-prepare the cars for Thursday’s testing.”
Eric Nève: “The season is coming to an end and I think we’ll live an even greater than usualfinale in Macau! Of course, we will be completely neutral in the final duel between Yvan andRob. Both, and Alain too, did a fantastic job throughout the season and both Yvan and Robdeserve the title. Whoever wins, we will have a great champion and a great vice-champion.Above all, it has been a terrific season for Chevrolet, with 11 poles out of 11 events so far,and 19 wins out of 22 races, just to mention that. It’s unprecedented in the WTCC and wecan be proud of what the team has accomplished.”
MACAU RACE SCHEDULE (Local time = CET +7 hours)
Thursday, 17th November 201113:50-14:20 (06:50-07:20 CET) Testing
Friday, 18th November 201108.30-09.00 (01.30-02:00 CET) Free Practice 112.15-12 :45 (05.15-05.45 CET) Free Practice 215.25-15.55 (08.25-08.55 CET) Qualifying 116.00-16.15 (09.00-09.15 CET) Qualifying 2 (Top Ten)
Sunday, 20th November 201108.15-08.30 (01.15-01.30 CET) Warm up11.10-11.35 (04.10-04.35 CET) Race 1 (9 laps = 55.053kms) (Rolling start)12.30-12.55 (05.30-05.55 CET) Race 2 (9 laps = 55.053kms) (Standing start)
MACAU WTCC ON TVIn Europe, qualifying, warm up and the races are be broadcasted live on EurosportInternational.
DRIVERS POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 22 OF 241. Y Muller (Chevrolet), 400 points; 2. R Huff (Chevrolet), 380; 3. A Menu (Chevrolet),323; 4. T Coronel (BMW), 203; 5. G Tarquini (SEAT), 177; … 12. D O’Young (Chevrolet), 43;14. C Bueno (Chevrolet), 25; ... etc
MANUFACTURERS POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 22 OF 241. Chevrolet, 890 points; 2. BMW, 537; 3. SEAT, 475; 4. Volvo, 154.