Yvan Muller conquered the 2011 WTCC Drivers title, his third in total and his second at the wheel of a Chevrolet, at the end of a sensational championship finale in Macau, after Rob Huff challenged him fiercely until the very end. In an impressive show of bravura, the Brit won both races on the streets of the former Portuguese enclave, bringing his personal number of successes in Macau to five, while Yvan Muller took a second and a third, showing once again all his mastery of touring car racing.
Eventually, the two are separated by only the small margin of 3 points at the end of an exciting season that has provided a great Champion, an equally great Vice-Champion and an unprecedented string of record results (21 wins out of 24 races, and 12 pole positions in 12 events) for Chevrolet, the RML team and the new Cruze 1.6 turbo, a car and a new engine that hit the track for the first time in September 2010. Alain Menu, who also played a key role in this year’s triumphs, was the unlucky hero in Macau, as his weekend finished in lap 1 of Race 1 after being involved in a race incident he did not cause.
Race 1 was pretty stressful with a start delayed by one lap and two safety car periods in the early stages, one of them for the incident that brought Menu out of contention. Rob Huff made a good use of his pole position, keeping the advantage at the start and at the two re-starts, but was permanently under Muller’s threat. Yvan attacked Rob several times at the end of the very long straight, as he was close enough to be towed, but the Brit was able to stay ahead until the chequered flag.
Race 2 only saw one safety car period. Rob Huff, who started from P3, took the lead in lap 3 after two great overtakes on Nykjær, while Muller, who was starting from P8, quickly put himself in P4, which was enough for securing the title, before passing Nykjær and finish the season on the podium.
words & pix: Chevrolet