Touring car veterans Nicola Larini and Alain Menu got their first runs in the new Chevrolet Lacetti WTCC entry at MIRA on Friday
Their team-mate Rob Huff had already shaken down the first of the RML-run cars earlier this month, but this was the first chance for Larini and Menu to get behind the wheel of the machine that they hope will take them back to the forefront of touring car racing.
"The car is a good basis to start our development work from," said Larini. "It is well balanced and I'm sure we'll make some serious progress once we're in Albacete (for the car's first full test)"
"It's difficult to get an accurate impression of things as MIRA is not a real circuit, but overall things look like a solid basis," added Menu.
Both Menu and Larini sat out most of 2004 after losing their drives with Opel and Alfa Romeo respectively at the end of the previous season. The Lacetti test marked Larini's first ever experience of a right-hand drive car, but he took it in his stride.
"Surprisingly enough I had no problems adapting, although this was the very first time in my career that I was sitting on the 'wrong' side," he said.
The rival Alfa Romeo team also began its 2005 WTCC testing programme this week, with drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi, Gabriele Tarquini, Augusto Farfus and James Thompson all attending a three-day session at Jerez.
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