Και η Chevrolet αποκάλυψε το αυτοκίνητο της για το WTCC του 2011. Μετά την περσινή επιτυχία που κατέκτησε τόσο το πρωτάθλημα κατασκευαστών όσο και των οδηγών, η Chevrolet θέλει να κάνει το ίδιο και φέτος με τους νέους κανονισμούς. Το Cruze WTCC 2011 δεν φορά πλέον 2.0λιτρο κινητήρα, αλλά έναν 1600αρη turbo απόδοσης 310 ίππων με 335 Nm ροπής. Φορά νέο σύστημα ψήξης, νέα μπροστά ανάρτηση, νέα φρένα ενώ έχει αλλάξει και η αναλογία βάρους μπροστά πίσω λόγω του ότι ο νέος κινητήρας είναι ελαφρύτερος από τον προηγούμενο.
Οδηγοί του παρέμειναν οι ίδιοι. Ο πρωταθλητής πέρυσι Yvan Muller θα οδηγεί το αυτοκίνητο με τον αριθμό 1 και ο Rob Huff το αυτοκίνητο με τον αριθμό 2. Το WTCC του 2011 ξεκινά αυτό το Σαββατοκύριακο στη πίστα Curitiba στη Βραζιλία.
The Cruzes Take The Assault To WTCC’s New Era
Curitiba inaugurates 2011 season and new technical rules The new 1.6 turbo Cruze ready to take the challenge after intensive winter testing Muller, Huff and Menu joined by ‘Cacá’ Bueno for Brazilian season-opener
ZURICH / WELLINGBOROUGH – It’s time for the 2011 WTCC to roll! Only three and a half months after the end of the season, the world’s top touring car series is back for another exciting year of racing. 2011 will mark the dawn of a new era in the WTCC, as the series inaugurates a new set of technical rules and moves to 1.6 turbo petrol engines, which have been elected as the new standard for the champions, to reflect today’s trend towards smaller, cleaner and more fuel-efficient powerplants. This will not be the only main change in the 2011 WTCC, as it also adopts a new qualifying system, by which the top ten times of Q1, in reversed order, will configure Race 2’s starting grid.
After the very successful 2010 campaign, where it conquered both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ crowns, Chevrolet is ready to take up the new challenge. In parallel to its race commitments, the team has worked extremely hard throughout 2010 to design and build the new 1.6 turbo engine, something that has been achieved in less than nine months, a real record for RML’s engine department led by Arnaud Martin. The Cruze itself had to undergo a 70 % re-design, as fitting the new engine, smaller in size but with increased power and torque, impacts on the engineering of many other elements, from cooling and ancillary systems to front suspension, brakes, aerodynamics and the overall weight distribution of the car.
September 2010 marked the start of the crucial phase of development and testing and ahead of the Curitiba race that will open this year’s season, over 4500 kms of tests have been completed, to the entire satisfaction of drivers and engineers. Chevrolet has been the first WTCC manufacturer ready to hit the track with the new car and is hopeful that the experience gained will help meeting the demanding reliability targets imposed by the new rules, which allow only one engine change per car in 2011.
The driver line-up has not changed, in accordance to one of the oldest principles in motorsports: never change a winning team! As World Champion, Yvan Muller has been entitled to sport #1 on his car, while Rob Huff, a recent editorial recruit of The Sun, for which he’ll write a column on the WTCC throughout the entire season, will have #2. Breaking the sequence’s logic, Alain Menu will have #8, a deliberate choice in order to be able to sport Louis Chevrolet’s famous “lucky number” in this very special Centennial year for the brand.
In Brazil, Chevrolet will enter a fourth car, easily recognizable from its unusual orange livery, which will be entrusted to local hero Carlos ‘Cacá’ Bueno. Thanks to the support of iCarros and Itaú Bank, the 34-year-old Brazilian stock car ace will have a possibility to shine in front of his home crowd, in what will be his second outing with the Cruze, following his WTCC debut at Brands hatch last year.
Yvan Muller (#1): “I can’t believe the season is starting again! Since the chequered flag went down in Macau last November, I haven’t stopped for a minute. There was a lot of work with the new car, a lot of commitments deriving from winning the title and I also devoted some time to the ice driving clinics I organize, but I enjoyed all of that! Now is time to focus completely on the new season, which is pretty unpredictable, because of the new rules and because all manufacturers have been working on their own, so there are even less terms of comparison than usual. The only thing that I can say is that I am very happy with the work we have done on the new Cruze and on the new engine, and that we have progressed a lot in a relatively short time”.
Rob Huff (#2): “It’s starting all again and I am anxious to be on the track at Curitiba. This is going to be a very interesting season and everybody has been so secretive about their winter work that it is impossible to say at this stage where each one stands. One thing I am really curious about is to see how the new system for Q1 will work. I believe we are going to see a lot of strategizing… For us, the good thing is that we have a very strong car, I think the new Cruze is fast and reliable, and the new engine has really a lot of life, in terms of power and torque!”
Alain Menu (#8): “I feel just great ahead of the new season and I am really happy to be able to have again #8, which brought me luck in the past and is of course so closely linked to my country fellow Louis Chevrolet. I must say I am very impressed with the quality of the work done by Chevrolet and RML on the new car. We are going to Brazil with a new engine and a new car that have already reached a very high level of development. The drivability of the new Cruze is excellent and I think we can be optimistic. One aspect that I think will be very important this year is front tires. With the new engine, front tires and front brakes will be under greater pressure and this can play a significant role. One will have to manage really carefully these two elements”.
Ron Hartvelt: “We are well prepared to face the new season and the challenge of a new car and engine. A lot of work has been done since we committed the final specifications of the 2011 Cruze last November, despite the very tight turn-around we had between the two seasons. Curitiba will be essential to know where we and our competitors stand, so we will wait to say anything about what the season could look like. I am very curious to see how the new Q1 will unfold. It’s going to be an interesting exercise, where everybody will try to be in the top 10 while avoiding at the same time to be in the top 5…”
Eric Nève: “ The best thing we can do is to confirm our World Champions status and start the second century of life of our brand and the 1.6 turbo era of the WTCC by giving GM a second world title!”
CURITIBA RACE SCHEDULE (Local time = CET – 4 hours)
|Friday, 18th March 2011|
|10:20-11:50||(14:20-15:50 CET)||Testing 1|
|14:00-14:30||(18:00-18:30 CET)||Testing 2|
|Friday, 18th March 2011|
|07:55-08:25||(11:55-12:25 CET)||Free Practice 1|
|11:30-12:00||(15:30-16:00 CET)||Free Practice 2|
|Sunday, 20th March 2011|
|08.15-08:30||(12:15-12:30 CET)||Warm up|
|13:05-13:30||(17:05-17:30 CET)||Race 1 (14 laps = 51.730kms) (Rolling start)|
|14:20-14:45||(18:20-18:45 CET)||Race 2 (14 laps = 51.730kms) (Standing start)|