Alain Menu and Rob Huff gave Chevrolet the perfect result in qualifying for the latest round of the World Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch after giving the new Cruze its first front row lock-out in qualifying.
BMW looked set to claim pole thanks to Andy Priaulx, but as the chequered flag flew, Menu was on his quickest lap and took the flag with the quickest time to clinch his place at the head of the pack at a circuit where he has won for the past three years.
“It was a very close fight for the pole but I am very happy with the outcome of it!” he said. “My first quick lap was not good, I braked a little bit late at Druids and you can not compensate a mistake there. So I decided to stay quiet and be as clean as possible and it worked very well in my last lap.
“Surprisingly enough, the track was quite slippery this afternoon, but the car was very, very good. For tomorrow, we will see, it is always easier to start from the pole! I hope we will have either a completely dry or a completely wet race but nothing in-between the two things.”
Team-mate Huff also left his quickest lap to the end of the session and crossed the line to go second behind Menu and give Chevrolet the lock-out of row one.
“It's great to have two cars in the first row,” he said. “The Cruze was really fantastic today, especially in high-speed corners. I am very happy with the balance of the car and the last few set-up modifications we made during Q2 paid off. We'll do everything we can to be on top of the result sheets tomorrow as well.”
Nicola Larini will start seventh in the third of the Chevrolet's after a day which left team boss Mark Busfield a happy man.
“It's a fantastic qualifying result and everybody, the drivers and the team, did a great job,” he said. “It is nice to see the Cruze at the best level of performance like the Lacetti was at Brands Hatch last year. One of our strengths today has been the excellent team work and the very close cooperation between all drivers and engineers. Sharing all the information was crucial in such a close fight for the pole like we had today.”