Chevrolet to quit WTCC
4th July 2012, 15:37 at 3:37 pm #131639
Chevrolet will leave the World Touring Car Championship at the end of the year. It is the only major manufacturer competing in the full season this year.
In the statement it said it will continue its IndyCar and GT programmes:
Following a strategic review of Chevrolet’s motorsport and marketing programs, Chevrolet will leave the World Touring Car Championship at the end of the 2012 season.
The eight-year program has so far resulted in two Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships (2010-2011) and 59 race wins for Chevrolet. For three consecutive years, Chevrolet’s racing team has proven the on-track abilities of the Cruze, the brand’s best-selling nameplate, against major contenders in motorsports.
This announcement is being made mid season to allow Chevrolet’s race drivers and race partner RML to plan for the future.
The Chevrolet WTCC Team currently leads both Championships and is aiming to finish on a high by adding two more World Titles to its achievements in the series.
Chevrolet will continue to be present in global motorsports with its many other race series, including IndyCar and GT racing.
Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe : “Following a strategic review of our motorsport and marketing programs we have decided to leave the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the end of the 2012 season to focus our Chevrolet brand activities in other areas. We are extremely proud of the two double World Titles we have won in the Series and of the 59 victories over the last eight years. The WTCC has been a powerful brand platform and showcase for Chevrolet in Europe and markets throughout the world. Chevrolet and RML now aim to go out on a high, by securing our third World titles together.”
”Chevrolet’s WTCC drivers, Yvan Muller, Rob Huff and Alain Menu finished first, second and third in the 2011 season, an achievement unmatched by any other brand in the past. In the current 2012 season, they again hold the top three spots in the drivers’ rankings. Yvan, Rob and Alain are more than great racing drivers. They are exemplary brand ambassadors for Chevrolet, embodying Louis Chevrolet’s can-do spirit every time they race.”
Eric Nève, Chevrolet Motorsport Manager : ”Naturally, making this announcement comes with very mixed emotions. This has been an amazing journey from our first season through to the double championship wins with the Cruze. We are extremely proud of the success we have achieved, including giving GM its first FIA World Champion titles, and would like to thank and pay tribute to the WTCC, RML, our drivers, partners and fans. We are now all focused on the remainder of season and bringing home the third double Championship titles for Chevrolet.”
Ray Mallock, Chief Executive, RML : “Everyone at RML is very proud of the multiple Championships we have won for Chevrolet in the WTCC. I would like to thank Eric, Chevrolet and General Motors for this most productive partnership. Over the last eight years we have played a key role in promoting and building the Chevrolet brand across the world and the success of this programme has also been a great platform to develop the RML brand globally. RML works for several major car companies in supporting their motorsport and road car marketing programmes. Overall the business continues to grow and we currently have more active enquiries from major OEM’s than at anytime in our history. We aim to continue winning in every category in which we compete. It goes without saying, that the whole RML team remain very focused on securing both the 2012 WTCC Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.”4th July 2012, 15:51 at 3:51 pm #205044
Now there’s a surprise. This could pave the way for RML to return to the BTCC, I doubt they would stay in the WTCC as an independent team unless they can secure support from another manufacturer. Obviously Honda are joining at the end of 2012 leading on to a full season in 2013, they’ll certainly now have a decent choice of drivers. SEAT may also return with the next generation León and Nissan are evaluating a WTCC programme.5th July 2012, 8:17 at 8:17 am #205045
Interesting! I wonder what Huff, Muller and Menu are now going to do, will they join some other WTCC team(s) next year or quit the series, too? Anyway, the next year will see increased factory involvement from SEAT, LADA and Honda so I guess WTCC will survive Chevrolet’s departure. I certainly hope we will see a more exciting battle for the championship in 2013 and hopefully drivers like Tarquini and Coronel will now be in the contention, too.5th July 2012, 8:54 at 8:54 am #205046
I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again before long – the WTCC is broken. The organisers need to give the cateogry a serious overhaul if they want it to survive.5th July 2012, 13:01 at 1:01 pm #205047
Just curious – what would such an overhaul entail exactly?5th July 2012, 13:15 at 1:15 pm #205048
For one, longer races. 50km is far too short – and it’s a joke that the support series races are longer than the WTCC event. The races don’t have to be so long that a pit stop is necessary, but they do need to be longer.
Secondly, more races in a weekend. The organisers could probably get three races into a weekend.
Finally, they need a better choice of circuits. Monza might be good for Formula 1, but it’s pretty boring for the WTCC. They need smaller circuits that are more conductive to good touring car racing. Maybe Misano or Vallelunga instead of Monza. And would it kill them to have a bit of variety in the calendar? Make the category more interesting by going to circuits that aren’t commonly used by other categories. Go to Sugo instead of Suzuka, or Zhuhai instead of Shangahi and so on.5th July 2012, 17:09 at 5:09 pm #205049
I think the WTCC should get rid of the 15 minute repair window which often means cars damaged in race one are unable to compete in race two due to insufficient repair time being available.
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