Impressive Swan Song for Chevrolet Lacetti
Issued November 17th 2008
Chevrolets Score Double Top in Macau
and Huff Win; Orido First Japanese Driver To Score WTCC
Alain Menu and Rob Huff successfully closed the four-season
Lacetti-chapter for Chevrolet in the World Touring Car Championship
by scoring two wins in the streets of Macau, the jewel in
the crown of the WTCC.
Menu dominated Race 1 from start to finish, Huff was lucky
to steer clear of the last-lap mayhem in Race 2 and move
up from fourth to first in the matter of a few corners from
the finish. By doing so, he also secured his third place
in the final standings of the World Drivers Championship,
the highest position a Chevrolet driver has ever finished.
Larini had a less successful weekend, but Max Orido, in
the Nika Racing Lacetti, used his knowledge of the track
to finish seventh in Race 2 after having started last in
Race 1. Orido thus becomes the first Japanese driver in
the WTCC history to score points.
Over its four-year career, the Chevrolet Lacetti scored
14 wins, 37 podium finishes and a total of 652 points towards
the Manufacturers’ Championship. Of these 14 wins,
two were triple victories where Chevrolet wiped out the
podium. Eight pole positions and nine fastest race laps
complete the impressive statistics for Chevrolet in the
of the WTCC, the Chevrolet Lacetti also won the 2008 FIA
European Touring Car Cup, the 2006 German Touring Car Championship,
and the 2008 Danish Touring Car Championship in the Teams
than regular team drivers Alain Menu, Rob Huff and Nicola
Larini, Chevrolet Lacettis were also successfully driven
by Rickard Rydell, Max Orido, Michael Nykjaer, Vincent Radermecker,
Michael Outzen, Henrik Lundgaard, Maria De Villota, Tomas
Schie, Rainer Bastuck, Harry Vaulkhard and Matt Allison.
With the Lacetti now officially retired from active duty,
the RML team will focus its attention on further developing
the Chevrolet Cruze for the 2009 WTCC season which will
start in Brazil in early March. After tests at MIRA, Guadix
in Spain and Estoril in Portugal, the Cruze will be further
tested at different tracks in southern Europe.
didn’t have a great start in the first race and saw
Andy (Priaulx) pull up alongside me. But I managed to hang
on to the lead going into Lisboa and made a run for it on
the first few laps. The air hose to my helmet came
undone, but it didn’t affect me too much, other than
that the tube was flapping around in the cockpit.
the second half of the race my lead was big enough to ease
off and control the race till the finish. In the second
race I was minding my own business in sixth when I oversteered
into the wall on oil that was left behind by Gabriele (Tarquini),
so that was that. So with three wins, this season hasn’t
been my best, but with a pole position and a win this weekend
and the prospect of racing the new Cruze in 2009, things
are looking good for the future.”
am very pleased with this win, but I was also very lucky.
In my mind I had just settled for fourth, when all of sudden
everybody in front of me went off. I came through one of
the corners and saw Thompson in the wall. Then shortly after
I saw Gabriele (Tarquini) get airborne over a wheel Farfus
had just lost. Fortunately I managed to get through unscathed
and make it to the finish, thanks to Duncan, my race engineer,
who called me on the radio to warn me for all the oil on
second win of the day is the perfect farewell for the Chevrolet
Lacetti, which has been a fantastic car for us these past
had a good start in the first race, making up a few places
on the long straights. But pretty soon I had a problem when
the alternator belt came off, which cut out the performance
of the power steering. The last few laps therefore were
very difficult to drive as the power steering sometimes
came on and then disappeared again. And on this track one
needs power steering!
Race 2, I jumped the start, though not deliberately. I was
working the handbrake and the clutch, but then I lost all
brake pressure and I just had to go. A pity, because a split
second later the lights went green. So I was given a drive-through
penalty, but then I experienced problems with downshifting
and had to park the car.”
“I had to start Race 1 last as I had lost all my qualifying
times when I had failed to stop for scrutineering in that
session. But I managed to work my way up from the back of
the grid to 16th, so I can say I had a good first race.
Starting from that position in Race 2, I couldn’t
have dreamed to finish in the points but one by
one the guys in front of me fell by the wayside and I managed
to finish seventh.
am very proud to be the first Japanese driver ever to score
points in the WTCC, and also to have been able to score
points for Chevrolet towards the Manufacturers’ Championship.
Although it lasted only three races, my Chevrolet adventure
will be one to remember.”
Race One Results
A Menu Chevrolet Lacetti 9 laps in 23m10s203
2. A Priaulx BMW 320si +0s523
3. Y Muller SEAT Leon TDI +8s581
4. A Farfus BMW 320si +9s335
5. R Huff Chevrolet Lacetti +9s871
6. J Gené SEAT Leon TDI +10s692
7. G Tarquini SEAT Leon TDI +11s218
8. J Thompson Honda Accord Euro R +12s080
9. N Larini Chevrolet Lacetti +12s909
16. M Orido Chevrolet Lacetti +58s798
Race Two Results
1. R Huff Chevrolet Lacetti 9 laps
2. Y Muller SEAT Leon TDI +7s253
3. A Priaulx BMW 320si +7s957
4. R Rydell SEAT Leon TDI +18s120
5. A Zanardi BMW 320si +51s727
6. F Engstler BMW 320si +52s963
7. M Orido Chevrolet Lacetti +58s314
8. M Marsh BMW 320si +1m02s623
13. A Menu Chevrolet Lacetti +1 lap
DNF N Larini Chevrolet Lacetti Transmission (2 laps)
Drivers' Points Standings after Race 24
1. Y Muller (SEAT), 114 points; 2. G Tarquini (SEAT), 88;
Huff (Chevrolet), 87; 4.
A Priaulx (BMW), 81; 5. R Rydell (SEAT), 77;… 9.
A Menu (Chevrolet), 54;…
Larini (Chevrolet), 48;… 18.
M Orido (Chevrolet),
Final Manufacturer's Points
Standings after Race 24
1. SEAT, 326 points; 2. BMW, 274; 3.
Chevrolet, 238; 4. Honda, 60.