Three in a row for Chevrolet! Issued October 8th 2006
in a row for Chevrolet: Nicola Larini visits Podium again
made it three WTCC podiums in a row in Valencia today. Nicola
Larini finished third in race 1 and fourth in race 2, while
Alain Menu finished eighth in race 1 to start from pole
position in race 2. Rob Huff on the other hand was the innocent
victim of another drivers’ optimistic overtaking manoeuvre
which turned sour at the start of race 1.
race started well for Chevrolet with Menu moving into third
at the start, followed by Larini in sixth and a charging
Huff just outside the top ten. Unfortunately, at Turn 1
following the long start-finish-straight, Rob Huff’s
race would be over as he got hit by reigning World Champion,
Andy Priaulx, who spun out of Turn 1 and collected Huff
on the way to the gravel trap.
Safety Car was deployed to clear up the mess, adding two
laps to the total race distance in the process. Once the
track went green again, Alain Menu lost sixth gear. “On
the long straight, in fifth, I had to lift to avoid hitting
the rev limiter,” he said. “Hitting the rev
limiter actually loses you more speed than just lifting,
but it also meant that the guys behind could make up lost
ground on the straight. The understeer we had in practice
was mostly gone when turning into the corners, but mid-corner
and at the exit it still understeered each time I went on
the power. The other cars behind were much quicker through
the second part of the corners, resulting me in getting
bumped a few times. But I managed to hang on to eighth which
means pole position for race 2.”
2 would unfortunately be a different story for Menu, as
he passed in third in Turn 1 and then gradually lost ground
after he ran wide in Turn 12 and damaged the splitter, not
exactly helping a car already hampered by understeer.
Larini had a much better race 1, consolidating his starting
position and then gradually moving up the leader board.
“It was race without any problems,” he said.
“I had a good, clean fight with Tavano, as well as
with Rangoni, who both drove great races and made no mistakes.”
In race 2, Larini had a bit of a moment when Tavano braked
a bit earlier than anticipated on lap 2. “I couldn’t
but hit him, and while I did, the engine cut out because
there was no air coming in anymore. I had to downshift two
gears to get the engine going again, but by then Terting
was all over me. I stayed on my line but he hit me from
behind taking off my rear bumper. With him getting a drive-through
penalty and Alain hitting problems I then moved up to fourth.”
to a titanic job by his mechanics, Rob Huff managed to start
race2 from the pitlane and finished in 15th, while Maurer
Motorsport’s Vincent Radermecker finished in third
in the Independents Cup. Lady driver Maria De Villota finished
race 1 in 21st but went off in race 2.
2006 World Touring Car Championship finale takes place in
Macau on November 19th. A record 11 drivers can still mathematically
become the 2006 World Touring Car Champion.