Crash.Net WTCC News

ROAL confirms Chevrolet move

12 December 2013

ROAL Motorsport has confirmed that it will run a pair of new-spec Chevrolet Cruzes in the 2014 World Touring Car Championship.

The Italian team will make the switch from BMW to field two of the cars being developed by RML, with Campos Racing having already announced plans to run one of the cars next year.

Tom Coronel will remain with ROAL for a fourth season, while former RML driver Tom Chilton has inked a deal that will see him join the Italian team to drive the second car.

“It's good to stay with a professional team like ROAL Motorsport after being the best BMW driver in the last three years with them,” Coronel said. “I also am happy to stay in WTCC because I have been in the championship since the beginning.

“The series is the best package for my sponsors and also for myself as driver. Tom Chilton is a good friend and I had good battles with him last year, so it's nice to have him as team-mate.”

Chilton meanwhile said he was pleased to be able to confirm his place with the team for next season.

“I'm really looking forward to the challenge of driving a faster car with another highly rated team like ROAL Motorsport,” he said. “Tom Coronel is a good friend and I think he will be a good team-mate. We will be fast on the track and have the most fun at the same time whilst getting the job done.”

The 2014 season will mark the first time that the Roberto Ravaglia-run team has run something other than a BMW, with the German marques decision not to build a car to the new regulations leading to the move.

“We are not severing our long standing ties with BMW,” Ravaglia said. “Actually we will keep on racing BMW cars in other series. However, because unfortunately BMW decided not to develop a new WTCC car and we wished to stay in the series, we had no alternatives than looking for another brand.

“We believe that the RML-built Chevrolet Cruze provides a great opportunity of running a competitive car.”

2014 World Touring Car Championship grid (as at 12/12/13):

Yvan Muller Citroen Racing Citroen C-Elysee
Sebastien Loeb Citroen Racing Citroen C-Elysee
TBC Citroen Racing Citroen C-Elysee
Gabriele Tarquini Honda WTC Team Honda Civic
Tiago Monteiro Honda WTC Team Honda Civic
Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda Civic
Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing Honda Civic
Rob Huff LADA Sport LADA Granta
James Thompson LADA Sport LADA Granta
Mikhail Kozlovskiy LADA Sport LADA Granta
Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze
Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze
Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet Cruze
Dusan Borkovic NIS Petrol Racing Team SEAT Leon *
Rene Munnich Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon * Selected events
Marc Basseng Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon * Selected events

* denotes TC2 class – all others TC1
Subject to publication of the official FIA WTCC entry list