Nicola Larini admitted he was thrilled to finally secure his first win in the World Touring Car Championship after taking victory in the second race of the weekend in Marrakech.
Larini had been the only one of the three Chevrolet drivers yet to win in the series but produced a battling drive in the second race around the new street circuit to finally break his duck.
After a sixth place finish in race one, the Italian started race two from third due to the reverse grid rules and battled ahead of team-mate Alain Menu when the Swiss star and leader Jorg Muller made contact at the chicane.
Larini then set about finding a way past Muller and when the BMW man made a mistake at the final hairpin and clipped the wall, Larini was able to dive through and pulled out a lead over the closing laps to take victory.
“At last!” he said. “I have been waiting so long for this first victory with Chevrolet that I have no words! It is just fantastic, for me and for the entire team.
“Race one was pretty uneventful, in race 2 I made a good start and when Jorg Muller and Alain had contact at the chicane, I managed to pass Alain, who had lost speed and the best line. Then I kept attacking Muller, I was faster than him, but overtaking is almost impossible in this track, so I just kept putting the pressure on him until he made a little mistake.
“Once at the front, I just pushed as hard as I could. I wanted this race win so much.”
With Rob Huff taking the first win for the new Cruze earlier in the day in race one, team boss Mark Busfield was a happy man following the opening weekend of WTCC on African soil and said that the season had now started for the Chevrolet squad.
“We are obviously very happy with today's results, which go beyond our expectations,” he said. “It proves that we are competitive, especially when we are on tracks that are new for everybody, and that we have been working well in the past weeks. This is, I believe, the real start of our season.”