Chevrolet are still targeting their first World Touring Car points with the new Cruze, despite failing to qualifying inside the top ten at Puebla, Mexico.
The team has struggled to make the new car work around the twisty 'roval' circuit so far this weekend, while Rob Huff in particular has been stymied by mechanical problems afflicting the new machine.
Nonetheless, the team did get close to sneaking into the top ten shootout, only for a late effort by Sergio Hernandez to bump Nicola Larini down to 11th – 0.018secs off the position he needed for another go.
“It's really a pity to have missed the top ten in the last lap for 18 hundredths of a second, but we lacked straight line speed in comparison with our rivals. Otherwise, I was happy with the car balance and feeling.”
Huff and Menu, meanwhile, were also confident of having the pace to sneak into the top ten, although both would make errors on their final laps to prevent them from going forward.
“It was really an unfortunate day,” Huff, who will start 13th, said. “In the free practice sessions my car suffered an oil leak, but later in qualifying, everything felt well and I was confident to make the top ten. Unfortunately, I could not get the time out of my car, and in my last quick run I slid a bit off the line, losing some precious tenths.”
“We made a number of changes to the set-up during the two free practice sessions and were able to improve the balance of the car,” 14th place Menu added, “but I still don't feel entirely comfortable with it. In qualifying, we simply weren't quick enough.”