Double Victory And Five Podium Finishes For The New Cruze In Brazil!

Published on March 31st, 2011

Curitiba in Brazil was the place to be for motorsports action as Chevrolet earned bragging rights thanks to the triumphant start of the season for the new Cruze 1.6Turbo, as the blue boys swept the floor in Curitiba: Rob Huff winning Race 1 ahead of Muller and local hero Cacá Bueno, while Alain Menu (6th in Race 1) took victory in Race 2, with Muller, Huff and Bueno taking 3rd, 4th and 5th, respectively. The Chevrolet team could have not dreamt of a better scenario, as the recognizable blue racing outfit leaves Brazil with plenty of cups and points.

Race 1 was a relatively quiet affair for a race, with Huff, Muller and Bueno making perfect use of their three top positions on the grid to control the race from flag to flag, while Menu managed to muscle his way through the speedy, racing pack to finish sixth.

The Swiss had been given a nice present on Saturday evening after qualifying, when the sanction imposed on one of the SEATs re-instated him in the top ten, which meant starting from pole in Race 2. While he could not use this advantage from the start, he managed put in a superb driving performance, passing Tarquini and Coronel after fierce duels and taking a well deserved win, while Muller, Huff and Bueno finished just behind Coronel.

With these results, the new Cruze 1.6Turbo proves it is the most competitive car in the WTCC and it does the honors for the Chevrolet team in the best possible way by winning the rare, exclusive status of double World Champion.

Rob Huff (1st / 4th): “It has been a brilliant week-end for the entire team and, clearly, to leave Brazil as the championship leader makes us very happy! Race 1 was pretty uneventful, we just had to focus on finishing the job we had started in qualifying. Race 2 was very intense, we all were very close. My engine stalled a little bit behind Coronel and that’s when Yvan passed me, we had a good fight in the following two corners, but everything went ok and we can be very happy with these outstanding results.”

Alain Menu (6th / 1st): “Definitely a much better day than yesterday! I was lucky because of the positive outcome due to the sanctions on Barth, but after all the bad luck last year, I think it was fair compensation… In Race 1, I climbed a few positions and found myself behind the quick BMWs of Coronel and Poulsen, who were fighting hard. I stayed away from that, as I didn’t want to take any risk ahead of Race 2.

“In Race 2, I had a poor start and then had to fight hard to regain the lead. I could pass Tarquini relatively easily but Coronel was a much harder adversary. I knew the only stretch where I could make an overtaking maneuver was at the end of the straight, where he was as fast as me, but where I could brake a little bit later, so I did not miss the opportunity when he left me some space on the inside.”

Yvan Muller (2nd / 3rd) : “Two podiums in the opening meeting is a very good result. I didn’t win and I’m not leading the championship, but I am very happy, as I see that the car performs very well. I had a good fight with Rob in Race 2 but it was very fair and we both enjoyed it. Now we have to continue the work and see how the Cruze performs in warmer weather and with more weight.”

Cacá Bueno (3rd / 5th): “It has been a very pleasant weekend, it was a really great experience to be part of such a team, and I am really pleased with my results, which is more than what I expected. In Race 1, it was not too difficult to keep third position and finishing on the podium in front of my home crowd was a very nice reward. In Race 2, I just did everything possible to escort and protect the other Chevys. Now I just hope I can have the possibility to be racing again in the WTCC soon.”

Eric Nève: “What a nice way to start the season! We can really feel proud of the entire team, the drivers and especially the engine guys, who have done a fantastic job during thewinter, allowing us to live a perfect weekend here. It was also nice to see so many people here in Curitiba, I think the idea of having the Brazilian Stock-car series together with the WTCC was definitely excellent.”


1. R Huff Chevrolet Cruze 14 laps in 29m29s481

2. Y Muller Chevrolet Cruze + 0s873

3. C Bueno Chevrolet Cruze + 3s924

4. T Coronel BMW 320 TC + 12s714

5. K Poulsen BMW 320 TC + 13s004

6. A Menu Chevrolet Cruze + 13s042


1. A Menu Chevrolet Cruze 14 laps in 19m38s428

2. T Coronel BMW 320 TC + 0s265

3. Y Muller Chevrolet Cruze + 0s917

4. R Huff Chevrolet Cruze + 1s321

5. C Bueno Chevrolet Cruze + 2s409


1. Huff (Chevrolet), 37 points; 2. Menu (Chevrolet) and Muller (Chevrolet), 33; 4. T

Coronel (BMW), 30 ; 5. Bueno (Chevrolet), 25; etc…

words: Azdee Amir  pix: Chevrolet


1. Chevrolet, 83 points; 2. BMW, 53; 3. SEAT, 40; 4. Volvo, 12.

NEXT RACE: Round 2, Race of Belgium, Zolder, 23-24 April 2011.


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