Faithful to its tradition of exploiting motor sport programmes to promote its road cars, BMW confirmed its presence in WTCC in which it clinched the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles three consecutive years, from 2005 to 2007.
In order to support the customer teams, in 2012 BMW Motorsport developed a kit to update the 320si cars to 320 TC, including the 1.6-litre turbo engine.
ROAL Motorsport, directed by the 1987 WTCC champion Roberto Ravaglia, run two cars for Dutch race winner Tom Coronel and Darryl O’Young. Liqui Moly Team Engstler confirmed their 2012 duo of Franz Engstler and Charles Ng, and so did Proteam Racing with Mehdi Bennani. Swiss racer Fredy Barth drives for Wiechers-Sport, while WTCC race winner Stefano D’Aste has established his own team PB Motorsport.
After launching the Cruze cars in 2009, Chevrolet managed to win back-to-back Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Although the factory programme has been halted after eight seasons, the Chevrolet brand is still represented by four Cruze cars. Former Chevrolet works team Ray Mallock’s RML, one of the most experienced and winning outfits in Touring Car racing, run two of them for three-time World Champion Yvan Muller and former BTCC race winner Tom Chilton. The Chevrolet line-up is completed by two cars run by bamboo-engineering, for the English duo of James Nash and Alex MacDowall and one entered by Swedish outfit Nika Racing.
In 2012 the Japanese car maker made its first WTCC appearance with the new Civic 5-door car at the events in Japan, China and Macau. This is Honda’s first works car racing programme since the brand pulled out of Formula One.
Now Honda is in for its first full season campaign, fielding three cars , built and developed by the Italian outfit JAS Motorsport and powered by the 1.6-litre turbo engine designed by Honda R&D.
Two works cars are run by the Honda Racing Team J.A.S for Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro, while a third machine is entered by Zengö Motorsport for 2012 Yokohama Trophy winner Norbert Michelisz
Avtovaz, Russia’s first car manufacturer returned to the WTCC after its campaign in 2009.
After taking part in two events in 2012 with a single Granta Sport car driven by WTCC race winner James Thompson, the LADA Sport team field two cars in the 2013 season, one for Thompson and one for Russian driver Aleksei Dudukalo.
The team have secured the precious collaboration of French outfit ORECA for the technical development of the chassis and the 1.6-litre turbo engine. On top of this the programme is supported by Lukoil Racing, Russia’s major oil company.
Although SEAT Sport had officially left the championship after winning back-to-back Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in 2008 and 2009, the Spanish brand is well represented with León WTCC cars powered by the new 1.6L turbo engine developed by the factory.
Three cars are raced by the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport that joined WTCC after clinching the 2012 FIA GT1 title. The German outfit signed the reigning world champion Rob Huff in addition to René Münnich and 2012 GT1 world champion Marc Basseng.
Other León cars are run by Special Tuning Racing for Tom Boardman, Tuenti Racing for the 18-year-old Pepe Oriola and Campos Racing.
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