Stefano D'Aste says he is happy to return to the World Touring Car Championship after missing out in 2014, with the Italian signing for Munnich Motorsport.

The 40-year-old driver spent nine consecutive seasons in WTCC racing for privateer BMW teams before dropping out last year. D'Aste, who has two career WTCC race wins to his name, will return in Munnich Motorsport's second Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 car for the first eight rounds of the 2015 season.

"I am very happy to be back in the WTCC. In the past year I have missed this great series and the people who work in it," D'Aste said. "I visited Munnich Motorsport last year at the Paul Ricard circuit and was sad that I could not drive myself. I want to give a big thanks to team manager Dominik Greiner and team owner Rene Munnich who have given me this opportunity."

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Munnich Motorsport will begin its third consecutive season in the WTCC with D'Aste, who replaces the outgoing Gianni Morbidelli, who scored the team's only victory in 2014 at the Hungaroring.

Team owner Rene Munnich says he is delighted to welcome the experienced Italian to the team and is hopeful they can find a solution to the commitment clash towards the back end of the season.

"We are pleased to have Stefano as a driver in the team. He is someone who has won races in the World Touring Car Championship before and I'm curious to see how he gets on," Munnich said. "At the moment Stefano has promised to race with us for the first eight WTCC weekends. In the last four weekends there is overlap with his own racing project but we are working with him to find a solution."

The WTCC season commences in Argentina on the 8th March.