Chevrolet are a step closer to wrapping up their first World Touring Car Manufacturers’ Championship after taking the first three positions on the grid for tomorrow’s first race in Macau.
Rob Huff topped the second qualifying session, which was postponed until Saturday after delays on Friday prevented completion before darkness fell. Yvan Muller, who is out of reach at the top of the Drivers’ Standings, qualified third with the third Chevrolet driver Alain Menu in fourth. The trio will line up in the top three positions on the grid though after Norbert Michelisz was demoted from second by the stewards.
“What a nice result for the team this is!,” said Huff. “The Cruze and the RML team were simply fantastic today and this excellent qualifying result is the best way to close the season. It was an unusual and not easy qualifying session, with a full night in-between the two sessions, but we proved our competitiveness, and are in an ideal situation for tomorrow’s races. We couldn’t ask for more, especially not in these conditions. It’s not easy to do a Q2 so early in the morning, without previous practice, and being basically obliged to be quick straight away as you jump into the car and mount new tires”.
Muller was relieved to have got onto the front row of the grid after brushing the wall at Lisboa on his first attempt at a flying lap. “I am really happy with this result, especially after the little drama I had in the first fast lap attempt,” he said. “I was going quite fast and probably got towed a little bit by the car in front of me at the braking for the Lisboa corner. I got into the corner too fast and hit the wall, luckily not too hard. I’m told this is the first time this season that I touch a barrier out of a mistake of my own. After that, I took no risks, repairs were done quickly and could still do second-fastest”.
Menu added: “It was a positive qualifying session for the three of us, I am quite happy with the balance of the car and with my performance in the second run. Maybe, I could have done a slightly better time, but not as good as Rob’s”.
Chevrolet Motorsport Europe Director Eric Neve commented: “Finishing 1-2-3 in the last qualifying session of the season, exactly the same positions we had in the very first race of the year in Curitiba, simply proves our competitiveness and our consistency throughout the entire year. There is little more that we could say, except that we are tremendously happy!”