Chevrolet has announced that it will run a fourth car in three of the remaining rounds of the World Touring Car Championship.
Alain Menu, Rob Huff and Nicola Larini will be joined by Japanese racer Manabu Orido for the final race of the European season at Monza before then taking part in his home round of the year at Okayama – the first WTCC race which will be run in Japan. Orido will also travel to Macau for the season finale on the challenging street circuit in the Chinese enclave.
The 39-year-old is best known for his exploits in GT racing back in his homeland, although he does has a second in class at Le Mans under his belt, and he admitted he couldn't wait to join the WTCC grid.
"It is an honour to be the first Japanese driver in the history of the WTCC," he said. "I would like to thank all those who made this happen for me. I hope that my presence in one of the three official FIA World Championships will help the series gain in popularity in Japan, especially so for the Okayama round in October.
"Hopefully my knowledge of the Okayama track, which is new to the WTCC calendar, can benefit the other three Chevrolet drivers and help them in their races."
Orido will be run by Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden in the three races, with his car being the one Tomas Schie normally drives in the Swedish Touring Car Championship.