Wellingborough [UK] – Tuesday 5th May 2015: CHEVROLET RML CRUZE DRIVERS GRAB PODIUM MAJORITY
P2 qualifier Valente cruises to 3rd place in race 1
ROAL Motorsport take 2nd and 3rd places in race 2
At the start of UK election week, RML’s customer teams grabbed 50% of the podium places available in the two WTCC races in Hungary this Sunday
Straight from the high speed demands of testing on Nurburgring’s monster Nordschleife circuit on Tuesday, the six Chevrolet RML Cruze drivers had to adapt to the tight and twisty Hungaroring circuit for round 3 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
With rain or the threat of rain in the air throughout Saturday, both Chilton and Valente moved comfortably into Q2, with Coronel and D’Aste also making the top 12. John Filippi just missed out after showing promising pace.
Although neither Tom’s (Chilton of Coronel) were able to advance into Q3, Valente progressed in P4. Even better was to come as Hugo set an impressive 1.49.08 on his single lap run. The Cruze was a real threat and the Citroens of both Lopez and Loeb made mistakes under pressure, sealing P2 for the Campos run Cruze.
In race 1, Valente got jumped from the clean side of the track by Lopez into turn 1. Thereafter the young Frenchman initially threatened Muller’s 2nd place and the looked comfortable in 3rd place managing his tyres to a strong 3rd place finish.
From P9 Chilton made a great move on Michelisz on lap 2 and then set after Loeb in P6. However, in a train of cars typical of races at the Hungaroring, that was as far as the Brit got, finally settling for P7 and a front row start for race 2. Tom also went into the lead of the Yokohama Trophy. At the back of the same queue, Coronel was all over the back of Huff in a colourful battle, whilst Demoustier got the better of a battling Filippi and D’Aste.
It seemed as though Michelisz had based his weekend around a reverse grid race 2 result and dominated with fresh tyres, setting a fastest lap that was 3/10ths quicker than Lopez in race 1. However in 2nd and 3rd positions were the ROAL cars of Coronel and Chilton. Actually Dutch Tom had got the jump, getting ahead on the run into turn 1, with Chilton being careful not to let Monteiro’s Honda or the following Citroens through. Thereafter the race settled into a procession with Chilton threatening a few times but deciding to settle for 3rd. The result was particularly pleasing for the hard working ROAL squad and Coronel, who has had no luck this season so far. Greg Demoustier is starting to look much more assured and again managed to fend off the battling Filippi and D’Aste for the final Championship point in 10th.
Although it is still early days, the upgrades appear to be working and combined with more experience and testing from the Teams, the RML Cruzes should continue to punch above their weight against the factory teams.