Crash.Net WTCC News

RML confirms WTCC programme

4 March 2013

RML has confirmed that it will return to the World Touring Car Championship with an independent programme following Chevrolet's decision to leave the series.

The team will field the same Chevrolet Cruze models it has campaigned in recent years, with triple champion Yvan Muller returning for a fourth season with the team.

The Frenchman will have a new partner for the year ahead however, with the team having agreed terms with former Team Aon driver Tom Chilton for his second season in the series.

“This is great news for all at RML and we're immensely proud that we've managed to get a deal in place,” Ron Hartvelt, supervisor of RML's WTCC project said. “Everybody has been working incredibly hard to ensure we're on the grid in Monza, so now we can look forward to working with Yvan and Tom to ensure this is a year to remember.

“Yvan of course has been with us since 2010, with two titles secured in the Cruze so we benefit greatly with his continued involvement. Tom is new to RML but he's demonstrated his natural ability and speed through his first year in the championship and of course through his success in the BTCC.

“Tom now has good technical knowledge of the tracks we compete on and he's well equipped with front-wheel drive touring car experience so I think he'll be a great asset from the start. We all look forward to working with him.”

Having signed up for another season with the team, Muller said he was confident that RML would again be firmly in the mix for the championship title during the year ahead.

“I'm very fired-up for the new season and highly motivated to challenge for the title again,” he said. “ I have been with RML for four years and I am very happy to continue our long association. I have the highest respect for the RML team and a lot of faith in their ability to prepare and race a winning car. For sure we'll be mixing it with the works teams. Bring it on!”

Chilton meanwhile said he was keen to take a step forward in the series after a difficult debut season that saw him score on just two occasions.

“2013 is looking very exciting for me,” he said. “ Last year was a real learning curve, both in terms of getting used to a new championship and in quickly adapting to new circuits. So now I have that experience, my target for this year is to be competitive from the start and to focus on consistent podium-worthy performance.

“RML is a top team and I really can't wait to get behind the wheel of the Cruze – I know there'll be a lot to learn quickly but I believe I'll be with one of the best teams to teach me.”

2013 WTCC entry list: (as of 4 March 2013):

Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic 1.6T
Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic 1.6T
James Thompson Lukoil LADA Sport LADA Granta Sport
Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil LADA Sport LADA Granta Sport
Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda Civic 1.6T
Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC
Darryl O'Young ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC
Alex MacDowall Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
James Nash Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
Mehdi Bennani Proteam Motorsport BMW 320 TC
Rob Huff Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCC
Marc Basseng Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCC
Rene Munnich Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCC
Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC
Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC
TBA Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC
Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing Team SEAT Leon WTCC
Stefano D'Aste PB Motorsport BMW 320 TC
Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T