Swedish team NIKA Racing has announced plans to compete in the World Touring Car Championship this season.
The team, which has run the Chevrolet Sweden programme in the STCC in recent years, will return to the world stage for a full season having competed in the opening round at Monza last year.
Then, Rickard Rydell posted the fastest lap in the opening race and took a fourth place finish at the wheel of his Chevrolet Cruze.
The team will now return with the Cruze for a full season, although the identity of who will be behind the wheel has still to be announced.
This is a significant day in the history of NIKA Racing,” team principal Nicklas Karlsson said. “We've been working towards a WTCC
campaign for a number of years – mostly behind the scenes – and today's announcement makes the dream come true.
“Following two highly successful seasons with Chevrolet in the STCC, we now feel ready to make this leap. We are fully aware that this is going to be an exceptionally tough challenge and we head into this season with humble mind, but our target is definitely to establish ourselves at this level in the longer term.”
Sporting co-ordinator Stefan Lindberg said he was sure the team would be able to fight with the best when the new season gets underway at Monza.
”Having a team such as NIKA Racing on the WTCC
grid is massively positive for Swedish motorsport,” he said. “Two STCC titles in two years proved that there is enough strength-in-depth within the team to manage this transition in the professional way required. And I believe that we'll be able to spring one or two surprises this season...”
NIKA becomes the third Chevrolet team on the grid, alongside RML and Bamboo Engineering.2013 WTCC entry list: (as of 6 March 2013):Gabriele Tarquini
Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic 1.6TTiago Monteiro
Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Civic 1.6TJames Thompson
Lukoil LADA Sport LADA Granta SportAleksei Dudukalo
Lukoil LADA Sport LADA Granta SportNorbert Michelisz
Zengo Motorsport Honda Civic 1.6TTom Coronel
ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TCDarryl O'Young
ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TCAlex MacDowall
Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6TJames Nash
Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6TMehdi Bennani
Proteam Motorsport BMW 320 TCRob Huff
Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCCMarc Basseng
Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCCRene Munnich
Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCCFranz Engstler
Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TCCharles Ng
Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TCTBA
Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TCPepe Oriola
Tuenti Racing Team SEAT Leon WTCCStefano D'Aste
PB Motorsport BMW 320 TCYvan Muller
RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6TTom Chilton
RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6TTBA
NIKA Racing Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T