RML wins again in WTCC. Pau (Rounds 7 & 8), 3 June 2007.
Issued June 6th 2007
Win for Menu
Alain Menu took an emphatic win in Race One of the World
Touring Car Championship event at Pau, France, last weekend.
The Chevrolet Lacceti's success was rounded off by pair
of fourth places for Rob Huff, while Nicola Larini did enough
to maintain his fifth position in the Championship standings.
It was another great day for the Chevrolet colours, a jour
de gloire in fact, as Alain Menu scored the second
victory of the season in Race 1 of the French event of the
WTCC. The Swiss driver and the Chevrolet Lacceti were absolutely
sovereign in the morning race. Starting from pole, Menu
led from lights to flag, leaving no openings for the competition
and also setting the fastest lap time. In the weekend's
second race. Menu started eighth, and finished eighth -
his starting position on the grid.
At last Rob Huff had a trouble-free weekend and was able
to put together two solid races, taking two fourth places.
Nicola Larini had a more difficult Sunday: handicapped by
the 45 kg success ballast he was carrying, he lost fourth
place in Race 1 when he hit the armco and broke the front
left wheel. The retirement took away any real chance of
a strong result in Race 2, although he still worked through
the field to finish 11th.
All in all, this was an excellent weekend for the team and
a good reason to celebrate for the hundreds of Chevrolet
guests who have definitely brought a lively blue touch to
the paddock and the grandstands throughout the week-end.
Quotes . . .
Alain Menu (1st/8th):
"Things went according to the best scenario and I am
very happy that the entire team can celebrate another victory
after the hard and excellent work everybody has done. I
had to fight a little bit with Yvan Muller during the rolling
start of Race 1. Obviously, he tried to overtake me. He
first tried to squeeze me a little bit, we even touched,
but I managed to keep the advantage in corner one. Then,
for me it was a matter of trying to pull away as fast as
I could in the initial laps and avoid any mistake in the
second part of the race. That is exactly what happened and
I was able to secure an important win. In Race 2 I had a
good and clean fight with Yvan but there was nothing to
do to pass him. In the last lap I had to lift off to save
the engine, as the water temperature was very high, and
I lost one place."
Rob Huff (4th/4th):
"Race 1 was relatively quiet and uneventful for me.
I was behind Nicola, trying to protect him. Towards mid-race,
he started having problems and going slower, so we lost
contact with the front-runners. Once Nicola was out of the
race, I could increase the pace and did some good lap times
but it was too late to hope of catching up with third position.
In Race 2, I tried throughout the entire race to overtake
Monteiro but I couldn’t. It was a good fight and I
am very happy with my two fourth places. My championship
is really starting now."
Nicola Larini (Retired/11th):
"In Race 1, I tried to keep my fourth position and
secure some heavy points, but because of the effect of the
ballast, it became progressively more and more difficult
to keep the race pace. I started having problems with the
tyres and the brakes. Then, at the chicane before the straight,
I made a little mistake touching the right armco. The car
bounced to the other side and I could not avoid a more serious
contact with the left armco, breaking the left front wheel.
Starting from the back, there is not much I could do in
Race 2. It is a pity I did not score any points for the
Championship today but I look forward to correct this situation
as from the next race."
"One could think that we will have to start getting
used to winning races! But it does not work like that, of
course. The joy is always tremendous because the work and
the stress behind every victory is immense. It has been
an excellent week-end and a strong performance. As from
tomorrow, we will focus on the next race; now that everybody
starts to have significant success ballast, the way you
manage this variable becomes critical."
PAU Race 1 Results
1. A Menu Chevrolet Lacetti 19 laps in 26m42s140 (at 117.94
2. Y Muller SEAT Leon + 2s260
3. T Monteiro SEAT Leon + 3s808
4.. R Huff Chevrolet Lacetti + 9s194
5. F Porteiro BMW 320si + 11s375
DNF N Larini Chevrolet Lacetti 12 laps (Accident)
Race 2 Results
1. A Farfus BMW 320si 21 laps in 31m54s553 (at 109.07 kph)
2. A Priaulx BMW 320si + 0s464
3. T Monteiro Seat Leon + 5s185
4. R Huff Chevrolet Lacetti + 9s625
5. J Gen Seat Leon + 13s018
8. A Menu Chevrolet Lacetti + 21s160
11. N Larini Chevrolet Lacetti + 25s130
Points Standings after Race 8of 22
1. A Priaulx (BMW), 42 pts; 2. A Frafus (BMW), 40; 3. J
Mller (BMW) 31; 4. Y Muller (SEAT), 28; 5. N Larini (Chevrolet)
25; ... 7. A Menu (Chevrolet), 21 ...11. R Huff (Chevrolet),
Standings after Race 8of 22
1. BMW, 106 pts; 2. SEAT, 86; 3. Chevrolet, 71; 4. Alfa
next race of the 2007 World Touring Car Championship takes
place in Brno, Czech Republic, on 17th June , just as RML's
MG EX264 is racing at Le Mans in France.
The full calendar for the year is:
FIA World Touring Car Championship
March - Curitiba, Brazil - raced
6 May - Zandvoort, Netherlands
20 May - Valencia, Spain
3 June - Pau, France
June - Brno, Czech Republic
8 July - Porto, Portugal
29 July - Anderstorp, Sweden
2 September - Oschersleben, Germany
23 September -Brands Hatch, Great Britain
7 October - Monza, Italy
18 November - Macau, China