Silverline Chevrolet enter BTCC
22 March 2010
Following much speculation, RML have confirmed that 'Silverline Chevrolet' will contest this year's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship with the Chevrolet Cruze, in partnership with Silverline Tools and Chevrolet UK.
This year's campaign will see the return of Jason Plato as he guns for championship glory with the works Silverline Chevrolet team.
Having narrowly missed out to Colin Turkington in the 2009 championship fight, Plato looks set to wow the crowds in the stunning Cruze, which has already shown tremendous pace in its first FIA WTCC race of the season in Curitiba, Brazil, earlier this month.
“I always had confidence that teaming up with RML again last year would mean wins - the Chevrolet Lacetti of 2009 was a formidable piece of kit. Now in 2010 we have manufacturer support from Chevrolet, continued support from Silverline and a very exciting new car in the Cruze,” Plato noted. “We are very motivated to make this our year, the opposition better be ready! Roll on Thruxton.”
New to the team for 2010 meanwhile is BRDC rising star, Alex MacDowall, who makes his debut in the BTCC following a great season last year in the ever competitive Renault Clio Cup championship.
A string of podium finishes in the BTCC-supporting series last year, followed by two strong tests in the Chevrolet Lacetti last December and most recently, at Oulton Park in the Cruze last week, meant he was an obvious candidate for the second seat in the sister car.
“To compete in the BTCC has been my goal for some time, and it's a great feeling to not only be entering the series this year, but to being doing so with such a competitive and experienced team as RML is a great opportunity for me,” he added. “I'm really excited for the season ahead – the Cruze has proven its pace and reliability in WTCC and from the initial test last week, there's no doubting that it will translate well in the BTCC.
“I've no doubt I'll have a lot to learn in my first season, but with RML, the works-backed Silverline Chevrolet Cruze and the expertise of Jason, I think we'll have one of the strongest teams on the grid.”
With new cars, new faces and the introduction of the Next Generation turbo charged engine featuring in some of the cars on the grid, the 2010 season looks set to be as competitive as ever. And as Plato enters his twelfth BTCC season, it could be a record-breaking year for the Oxfordshire racer – with thirty races ahead of him, he's only seven wins short of re-writing the record books and boasting the highest number of BTCC wins – Andy Rouse is the current record holder with sixty wins.
“The Cruze has already shown itself to be a superb racing car in the World Touring Car Championship, so the decision to enter it in the most high profile series in the UK was made much easier,” summarised Chevrolet UK managing director, Mark Terry. “We're looking forward to an exciting season, and one that will raise the profile of both the Chevrolet brand, and the style and dynamic appeal of the Cruze – a car that has already proven to be a success both on and off the track.”
“I am really pleased to confirm the continued partnership with Silverline Tools and, new for this year, with Chevrolet UK,” concluded RML CEO, Ray Mallock. “RML prides itself on managing top line projects, representing some of the automotive industry's biggest manufacturers in the world.
“Last year we got tantalizingly close to taking another BTCC title. This year as we approach the first round at Thruxton, we've had a little more time ahead of us to plan and organise and in the switch to the Chevrolet Cruze, we are aiming for the title win.
“With the support of Silverline Tools and Chevrolet UK, two hugely talented drivers, Jason and Alex, and a very committed team in place, I think we have a great opportunity to do just that.”