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Swedish squad reveals WTCC plans

6 March 2013

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 1.6T
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
TBA NIKA Racing Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T


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