Bulgarian racer Vladimir Arabadzhiev has enjoyed his first taste of the World Touring Car Championship machinery after spending a day with the factory Chevrolet team at Pembrey.
Arabadzhiev was chosen by the team to test the Cruze - alongside regular driver Rob Huff - as a reward for his performance in International Formula Master this season.
As part of the test, Arabadzhiev was given the chance to complete both a qualifying run and a race outing of ten laps,
"To spend a day working with a WTCC works team has been a great opportunity for me,” he said. “It doesn't happen often that young formulae drivers are given a chance to explore other motorsports top disciplines, like touring cars, in such a professional environment.
"It was a very interesting experience, as it was quite unusual to drive a front wheel drive race car for the first time. The team was very helpful to get me comfortable in the car and build my confidence before giving me a new set of tyres to do a qualifying run before a ten-lap race run. Rob Huff was available to give me some tips regarding his car and this proved useful to improve my lap times. I wish to thank Chevrolet and IFM for giving me this opportunity."
Although no official times were recorded, Arabadzhiev is said to have set qualifying times within seven tenths of experienced WTCC driver Huff, whilst the Bulgarian's race run saw him set a best lap just three tenths behind Huff.
"One of the good things about the WTCC sharing racing weekends with the International Formula Master Series is the possibility to cooperate and to organise test sessions with their drivers, which allow us to look at young talents coming from single-seaters and allow a new generation of drivers to look for opportunities in the touring car scene," Chevrolet Europe motorsport manager Eric Neve said.
"We are delighted to have Vladimir Arabadzhiev, a promising driver from one of the emerging European countries in motorsports, as the first IFM driver testing a Chevrolet and we are very satisfied with the extremely professional job he did during the test day."