The 2010 World Touring Car Championship ends with the traditional end-of-season Macau round this weekend. Yvan Muller wrapped up Chevrolet's first Drivers' Championship this week after the team won their appeal against the Okayama results, while the team are now within touching distance of a maiden Manufacturers' Championship going into the final races.
Despite the pressure being off, Muller is aware of the challenges that Macau can bring. “I love Macau, which is a circuit that is a compendium of all circuits visited during the season,” he said. “It is an urban track but the one having at the same time the fastest and the slowest corners of the year, the longest straight and the tightest corner. It is really special, and quite dangerous also. Not an easy track and most of all, a very difficult race where to have a championship decided! This time, I can go to Macau with a more relaxed spirit, but we have to keep in mind that anything can happen in Macau. We need to stay completely focused and work well on the Cruze, which has been excellent on all types of circuits this year”.
Before jetting out to Macau, Rob Huff was busy continuing development of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. He said: “This week, I have been continuing the tests with the 2011 Cruze, at Brands Hatch and MIRA. We are very happy with the progress made with the new 1.6 turbo engine, the car is becoming easier to drive at every outing. Now all the attention is on Macau, I am very excited to be there again, it's a circuit and an event I love, and I've been quite successful there in the last couple of years, with two wins and one pole position. To repeat that would be wonderful, but Macau is always unpredictable and a place where the walls and the armco barriers offer no forgiveness. The main objective is to go for a strong team result and bring home the two championships”.
The team's third driver Alain Menu said: “We have been travelling quite a lot in recent weeks, and it is not over. Yvan and I were first in Australia, for the V8 Supercar race at Surfers' Paradise and then in Argentina for the 200 km of Buenos Aires. It was nice to be in these two great countries, at mega-events such as those and driving very different cars, those really were two nice experiences. Two weeks after Macau, I will again be in China, for an exhibition with the Cruze at the Guandong track, where a WTCC race should take place next year. For now, it's Macau and I look forward to it, as this is the most challenging event of the year. Clearly, this year it's going to be even more special for us, because of our position in the two championships. I am eager to do well there and finish the season on a high note, but the top priority will be working for the team”.
Chief Race Engineer Ron Hartvelt pointed out the key aspects of Macau from his point of view. He said:“We have done an excellent job in Okayama and went out of it with the cars unscathed, so that makes re-preparing the cars for Macau easier, despite the very short time we have from the moment cars have been unloaded from the containers. As Macau is … Macau, we have to stay on high alert, and do what we need to do to finish the job. Qualifying will be very important, we will see how to prepare that and if towing can help. One good thing is that we will have the first garages in the pits, because of our position in the championship, it is always very important in Macau to be the first on the track”.
Chevrolet Motorsport Europe Director Eric Neve commented: “After what happened during and after the Okayama week-end, it is nice to focus again on the sportive side of things exclusively. There is, of course, a lot of expectation and enthusiasm around us and within the entire company, but we still have two races to do. We have to approach this decisive week-end with the usual concentration and motivation, and put all chances on our side. This is why the drivers and part of the team are going to Macau earlier than usual, to be able to adjust and overcome jet-lag. It is clear what we have to do and we just need to get it done!”.