Cruze receives warm welcome in exhibition run along Budapest streets
Less than a week after its first visit to Slovakia, the world’s top touring car series is heading to neighboring Hungary for the fifth round of the season.It is a short journey along the Danube between Bratislava and Budapest and the setting is not going to change much: the WTCC enjoys a tremendous popularity in Central Europeand the same huge crowds seen at the Slovakiaring are expected to flock to theHungaroring this weekend.
Magyar fans were already given a treat yesterday as WTCC cars and a McLaren Formula 1 driven by Jenson Button took to the avenues and streets of the capital for an unprecedented exhibition aimed at promoting both the WTCC event and the Hungarian F.1 Grand Prix.
Half a million people witnessed the unusual sight of race cars driven along the Hapsburgstyle buildings and monuments of their city. The WTCC Chevrolet Cruze was driven byPasquale Di Sabatino, the young Italian driver who competes in the WTCC with a Cruze of the Bamboo Engineering team.
The Chevrolet team is approaching this Hungarian round with great confidence. Following its one-two win in Race 2 in Slovakia, Chevrolet has now notched up 55 race wins in theWTCC, becoming the most successful manufacturer in the history of the series. With no time to go back to the RML factory in the UK, the Cruzes are being re-prepared in Budapest. The 4.3 km track on the outskirts of the capital is known for its succession of relatively slow corners, promising exciting action and car to car duels. Last year, the Cruzes did particularly well, with Alain Menu winning Race 1 and Yvan Muller and Rob Huff taking a one-two in Race 2.
Having won seven out of the eight races held so far, Chevrolet enjoys a comfortable lead in the Manufacturers’ standings, with its three drivers on top of the Drivers’ rankings.
BUDAPEST ROUND SCHEDULE (Local time = CET)Saturday, 5 May 201209:00-09:30 Free Practice 111:15-11:45 Free Practice 214:00-14:20 Qualifying 114:25-14:35 Qualifying 2Sunday, 06 May 201208:45-09:00 Warm up11:20-11:45 Race 1 (12 laps = 52,854 kms) (Rolling start)14:35-15:00 Race 2 (12 laps = 52,854 kms) (Standing start)