Macau unlucky for RML's Lacettis. Issued November 20th 2006
luck until the end in Macau, as all three Chevrolets are
involved in accidents
was written somewhere that this was not going to be Chevrolet’s
year in Macau. Despite showing an impressive level of competitiveness,
the three Lacettis paid a very high tribute to external
factors in qualifying and again today, in the two races
that concluded the season. All three drivers suffered serious
accidents. Nevertheless, and despite their positions at
the back of the grid, all three demonstrated how fast the
Lacettis are in Macau. Huff (9th in the first race) and
Menu (10th in Race 2) still managed to bring home two good
finishes. The last two races of the season where again rich
in incidents, as always in the streets of the Chinese capital
of gambling, and proclaimed Andy Priaulx and BMW as 2006
and Larini managed to pass unscathed through the collective
accident initiated by Giovanardi and Magnussen at the Lisboa
corner (almost a repetition of what happened last year)
and even managed to gain some positions, running eighth
and tenth respectively in the initial laps. Despite losing
the bumper after he was hit by Thompson in lap 2, Menu was
pretty fast, setting twice the fastest lap of the race.
Unfortunately, two laps from the end, he hit the barriers
in the Guia section. “It’s a real pity”,
commented the Swiss driver, “I was running alone,
the car was ok, eighth place and the pole in the second
race were secured. The only trouble I was having was with
the gearbox when passing from fourth to third. At some point,
in a braking, I could not put the gear in, driving power
and could not avoid crashing”.
lap earlier, Larini’s race had also ended brutally
against a barrier. “I had been trying to pass Thompson
for a number of laps”, explained the Italian, “I
was much quicker but he was swinging across the track not
to let me go. Eventually I managed to overtake him in the
straight, but he hit me twice at the braking point, sending
me slightly into the guard-rail. I managed to escape but
something had been damaged and I lost a rear wheel two corners
later”. The car could not be repaired for Race 2.
Huff had a worse start of the race as he was trapped in
the pile-up at first corner. When he could free himself
and rejoin the race, he managed to run a brilliant and relatively
quiet race, passing Couto, Gené and Thompson and
finishing ninth. “The car was good, I was able to
pull away easily and maintain a good pace. It’s a
real pity to have lost over 20 seconds in the jam at the
beginning. I was really stuck bumper-to-bumper between two
cars and could only wait. Otherwise, I could have finished
eighth easily and this would have changed everything for
the second race was going to be pretty short for the Englishman.
He took an excellent start, was not involved in the incident
that occurred again in the Lisboa corner, but was an innocent
victim of Tarquini’s crash in the Solidão esses:
“Tarquini went off just in front of me, crashing massively
on the right and then on the left. There was no space to
go as there were debris and liquids all over the place.
I stood up on the brakes but the wheels blocked and lost
control of the car on the oil, hitting the wall as well”.
who started from the pits, was 14th after the safety-car
period, managed to gain some positions with a car which
was obviously not “perfectly straight” after
the crash in Race 1 and finished tenth.
Neve, Chevrolet Europe Motorsport Manager, commented: “First
of all, I would like to congratulate BMW and Andy Priaulx
for their third consecutive success in both championships.
It’s an impressive result, given the level of competitiveness
that the WTCC has achieved. For us, it has been a frustrating
week-end concluding a very good season. Two victories and
five finishes in the podium are the proof that we have grown
tremendously as a team. Especially in the second part of
the season, when competitors had higher success ballast,
we have demonstrated that we are now among the front runners
everywhere and a potential winner at every race. I want
to thank everybody in the team for that. We will continue
working hard on the development of the Lacetti all winter
to be even more competitive next year and continue bringing
emotion to the Chevrolet brand”.
RACE 1 RESULT
A Priaulx (BMW 320 si) 9 laps in 23m44s490 (139.19 kmh)
D Huisman (BMW 320si) -1s020
3. Y Muller (Seat León) -1s385
4. F Giovanardi (Honda Accord) -2s661
5. A Farfus (Alfa Romeo 156) -9s596
9. R. Huff (Chevrolet Lacetti) -26s631
DNF A Menu (Chevrolet Lacetti) Accident lap 8
DNF N. Larini (Chevrolet Lacetti) Accident lap 7
RACE 2 RESULT
1. J Müller (BMW 320 si) 11 laps in 36m01s074 (112.14
2. Y Muller (Seat León) -2s102
3. T Coronel (Seat León) -2s697
4. J Thompson (Seat León) -4s473
5. A Priaulx (BMW 320si) -5s273
10. A Menu (Chevrolet Lacetti) -19s376 DNF
R Huff (Chevrolet Lacetti) Accident lap 1
DNS N Larini (Chevrolet Lacetti)
1. A Priaulx (BMW), 73 pts;
2. J Müller (BMW), 72;
3. A Farfus (Alfa Romeo), 64;
4. Y Muller (Seat), 62;
5. G Tarquini (Seat), 57; ...
12. N Larini (Chevrolet), 24; ...
15. A Menu (Chevrolet), 21;
16. R Huff (Chevrolet), 20, etc.
1. BMW, 254 pts;
2. Seat, 235;
3. Alfa Romeo, 154;
4. Chevrolet, 128.