The Chevrolet Cruze of Alain Menu will be sporting a new livery at the Portuguese round of the 2012 WTCC, with the Swiss driver playing the part of French comic book motor-racing driver Michel Vaillant at the weekend.
The 1950s comic book relaunches in November, with Vaillant moving on from Formula One to race in the WTCC with his Vaillante team.
The association of the character with the WTCC starts this weekend with the No.8 Chevrolet Cruze of Alain Menu running in Vaillant’s livery, with team personnel also donning separate team gear and with Chevrolet manager Eric Nève playing the part of Jean-Pierre Vaillant, Michel’s elder brother and the team manager of Vaillante.
“We have worked on a complete change,” said Nève. “Alain/Michel’s overall, the team’s uniforms, the livery of the car, the truck and the garage.”
“We will also visit the Club Michel Vaillant in Brussels. The main reason we are doing this is to promote the championship because we know that the Valliant comic books will stay on people’s shelves for the next generation.”
Alain Menu says he’s looking forward to playing the part of a character which he used to read in his childhood.
“I’m happy and excited at the same time because Michel Vaillant was a great part of my youth,” said Menu. “When I was a child and teenager, I used to read all his comic books, dreaming that one day I would become an F1 driver. To impersonate Michel Vaillant is something I never expected.”