ROAL Motorsport has its sights set on double title success in the 2013 World Touring Car Championship after confirming its strongest driving pairing for some time for the season ahead.
Roberto Ravaglia's team has announced that it has extended its deal with Tom Coronel for a third season, with the popular Dutch driver being joined by Hong Kong racer Darryl O'Young – who makes the move to the BMW squad having driven for both Special Tuning Racing and bamboo engineering last year.
It will mark the first season that O'Young has raced a rear-wheel drive touring car, although the 32-year-old has extensive experience of racing rear-wheel drive machinery in his various sportscar outings.
“We are very confident while looking forward to the new season,” Ravaglia said. “Tom is part of our family and we are pleased to welcome Darryl in the team. They are both experienced drivers and have proved they can compete for top positions in the WTCC. With them on board our team can aim for some important results: Tom has the potential to fight for the top three in the Drivers' Championship and Darryl for the Yokohama Trophy title.”
Coronel was also quick to welcome his new partner to the team, with his sights firmly set on challenging for outright honours in the title race.
“At the end of last year, I already spoke at length with Roberto Ravaglia, who made it clear to me that the team had every reason to continue our existing partnership,” he said. “During the winter, the team has tried everything to make the BMW lighter and better. Other than in previous years, we are now quite close to the minimum weight set out in the regulations, which certainly will give us an advantage.
“Moreover, the Chevrolet works team is no longer present in the series this year and therefore, our chances have improved, but that also goes for other teams. With ROAL Motorsport, we are aiming at top three results in the races and in the championship. We are very well used to each other within the team, the cars are perfectly prepared and after changes in the regulations, front-wheel driven cars no longer have any advantages in terms of weight. Of course, the opposition has been working hard, too. Honda, for instance, is joining the series with its own works-team, but I am very confident that we can be among the front runners for this year.
“I have known Darryl for a long time already. He is an all-round driver with a lot of experience, not only in the WTCC, but also in GT racing. His experience will be very useful to get to results in a quicker and better way in testing. I think that his arrival is making the team stronger. There will be no team orders, because we are both competing for different titles. For Darryl, this year is all about winning the title in the Drivers' Trophy.”