Rob Huff And Alain Menu Looking For Home Win
The Chevrolet WTCC team will play a home match at Brands Hatch next weekend. The first round of the second half of the 2008 WTCC season will not only take the Chevrolet Lacetti drivers to the track nearest the RML team's base, but also to the track where Chevrolet scored their first ever WTCC win in 2006, at the same time achieving Chevrolet's first ever outright win in an FIA sanctioned series. Swiss driver Alain Menu – with 36 wins to his name the most successful driver in the BTCC – claimed that famous first win in very wet conditions, and won again last year. For him, Brands Hatch is as much his home race as it is to the team or to Rob Huff, who will be celebrating his 100th touring car start in Kent. With Menu being the lightest of the Chevrolets, he is of course keen to make it three Brands wins in a row.
Rob Huff: "The first of the two races will be my 100th touring car start, so it would be a delight to celebrate that with a win, especially since Brands is also the track where I scored my very first touring car victory in 2004. Realistically, of course, it will be very difficult to win with the kilos I'm carrying, as Brands is one of those tracks where it hurts to run heavy. So if I can bag another eight or nine points it will have been a very good weekend for me. Should it rain, as it sometimes does in the UK, then it will be a bit easier for me, but also for all the other heavies, so I don't really mind what the weather does. But obviously racing at home in front of fans and family is always special, so I'm going to put on a good show."
Alain Menu: "After Estoril I will be relatively light at Brands Hatch, carrying only the 23kgs ballast resulting from my 23 points in the championship. Of course, Brands has always been quite good to me in the past, both when I was racing in the BTCC and now in the WTCC with Chevrolet. I can't say that I will win for the third year in a row, but definitely I expect a lot from this event and I aim at being on the podium. It will all depend on how things go in qualifying. Last year, I was on the pole and I won. Would I have qualified second, I would have finished second, so qualifying will be very, very important. Regarding weather conditions, I would prefer to have dry races, but we will take what comes, and it will be the same for everybody. I spent two days testing in Pembrey this week, it was useful, but it's clear that at this stage of the car development, we can only gain some hundredths of a second here and there. It's more a matter of how you feel with the car rather than pure performance."
Nicola Larini: "I am very motivated after the good results we obtained in Estoril. Brands Hatch is a circuit that suits us well and it is the home track of the team, we have always been at the top there. Of course, with 50kgs of ballast I will not be in the best position, I will have the heaviest Lacetti ever seen this year, but my aim is to do well and never give up, as always! And for the rest, I personally hope it will rain!"
Mark Busfield: "We had a good two-day test at Pembrey this week after Estoril, with Alain doing the driving in Nicola's ex race car, which has now become the T-car, as Nicola has switched to our original test car for Estoril. We worked a lot on set up and other fine details and came away with a good feeling. As for Alain's extinguisher issue in Portugal, we have worked with the manufacturer to establish how the extinguisher was empty and discovered it was because of a faulty seal. We had a different system installed at Pembrey and will now use this for the remainder of the season."
BRANDS HATCH RACE SCHEDULE (Local time = CET minus 1 hour)
Saturday, 26th July 2008
09.00-09.30 (10.00-10.30 CET) Free Practice 1 11.10-11.40 (12.10-12.40 CET) Free Practice 2 15.00-15.30 (16.00-16.30 CET) Qualifying
Sunday, 27th July 2008
10.00-10.15 (11.00-11.15 CET) Warm up 12.05-12.30 (13.05-13.30 CET) Race 1 (14 laps = 51.842kms) (Rolling start) 13.20-13.45 (14.20-14.45 CET) Race 2 (14 laps = 51.842kms) (Standing start)
DRIVERS POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 12 OF 24
1. G Tarquini (SEAT), 58 points; 2. Y Muller (SEAT), 55; 3. R Rydell (SEAT), 48; 4. A Priaulx (BMW), 43; 5. R Huff (Chevrolet), 36;... 7. N Larini (Chevrolet), 30;... 11. A Menu (Chevrolet), 23;...
MANUFACTURERS POINTS STANDINGS AFTER RACE 12 OF 24
1. SEAT, 172 points; 2. BMW, 135; 3. Chevrolet, 115; 4. Honda, 19.
SUCCESS BALLAST FOR BRANDS HATCH
1. Y Muller (SEAT), 70kgs; 2. R Rydell (SEAT), 68kgs; 3. G Tarquini (SEAT), 58kgs; 4. A Priaulx (BMW), 53kgs; 5. N Larini (Chevrolet), 50kgs; 6. T Monteiro (SEAT), 49kgs; 7. R Huff (Chevrolet), 46kgs; 8. J Gene (SEAT), 34kgs; 9. R Dahlgren (Volvo), 30kgs; 10. A Bitur (BMW), 30kgs; 11. L Beirao da Veiga (SEAT), 30kgs; 12. K Poulsen (BMW) 30kgs; 13. J Muller (BMW), 28kgs; 14. F Porteiro (BMW), 28kgs; 15. A Farfus (BMW), 27kgs; 16. A Menu (Chevrolet), 23kgs; 17. A Zanardi (BMW), 18kgs; 18. T Coronel (SEAT), 10kgs; 19. J Thompson (Honda), 3kgs; 20. O Tielemans (BMW), 1kg.
BRANDS HATCH WTCC ON TV
In Europe, qualifying and the warm-up are broadcasted live on Eurosport 2. The races are broadcasted live on Eurosport International.
CHEVROLET WTCC INSIGHT ON THE WEB
Throughout the 2008 European season, Chevrolet WTCC Insight will show you the behind-the-scenes of the Chevrolet WTCC racing team. On Saturdays and Sundays, media and fans alike will get the latest information and can ask their questions via the web in Chevrolet's own web cast. The web address is www.chevrolet-insight.com. First airings will be at 8.30pm local time (2.30pm Detroit time, 3.30am Seoul time), after which the 10-minute programme can be viewed any time. This year's programmes can also be brought to you as podcasts via the same website. An archive with all the 2007 and 2008 Chevrolet Insight features is available and video reports which can be downloaded as high-resolution broadcast files.