RML’s Yvan Muller has admitted that he enjoyed racing at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo as the WTCC made its first appearance in Argentina, despite suffering his first non-score of the season in race two.
Frenchman Muller and RML team-mate Tom Chilton topped each of the weekend’s sessions preceding raceday as the duo showed the potential of their Chevrolet Cruze’s around the new circuit.
The duo continued their form into race one on Sunday, despite being outpaced in Sunday morning warm-up. Muller took his sixth win of the season in the first race, whilst Chilton finished in third, having lost out to fellow Chevrolet racer Pepe Oriola half-way through the race. Despite winning by a comfortable 4.9 seconds, Muller insisted that it was not an easy victory.
“That actually wasn’t easy,” said Muller. “There was a bit of contact behind me and I knew I had to push as hard as I could to get some clear air and keep out of any trouble from the guys fighting behind me. From there, once I built a lead, I was able to focus on maintaining good pace without worrying too much about competitors behind, but this is a tough track on tyres so we couldn’t just relax or become complacent.”
Former triple champion Muller admitted that he enjoyed racing around the 4.8 km circuit, which joined the WTCC calendar this season.
“I like this track – it’s very wide and safe and with plenty of space to overtake in several areas it makes it very exciting and it’s enjoyable to race here – it’s good that we come here,” added Muller.
Chilton scored his fourth podium finish of the season in race one, before finishing out of the points in race two as a result of contact with bamboo-engineering’s Alex MacDowall. The Brit lamented the missed opportunity for an RML 1-2 in the first race.
“It’s been quite a challenging weekend but we can draw lots of positives from here and I think we’ve achieved a lot,” admitted Chilton. “Of course I’m a little disappointed not to have finished alongside Yvan for the first race – second was certainly achievable but as in race two, luck wasn’t quite on side today.
Chilton also praised the new circuit in Santiago del Estero province in Argentina as good for overtaking and enjoyable to race on.
“I had some great fun out there, getting involved in several battles – I really had to concentrate, keep consistent pace and I gave it my all throughout,” added Chilton. “It was always going to be tough here – as we all saw the track was incredibly dusty and slippery, but I have really enjoyed competing on such a driveable track.”