Chevrolet today announced that they are pulling out from the FIA World Touring Car Championship after this season.
“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,” said Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe.
The American manufacturer entered the WTCC in 2005 and has since then claimed two drivers’ and constructors’ titles, including 59 race victories.
“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,” said Docherty.
Ray Mallock Ltd. has been responsible for running and the development of Chevrolet’s programme in the WTCC since the start in 2005 with the Lacetti model that was replaced by the Cruze in 2009.
“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,” said Ray Mallock.
Drivers Yvan Muller, Alain Menu and Rob Huff represents Chevrolet in the WTCC this year, with Muller currently on top of the standings.
“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,” said Eric Nève, Chevrolet Motorsport Manager.
Chevrolet is the sole manufacturer entry of the WTCC 2012 while Honda has announced a two-car effort for the 2013 WTCC. The American manufacturer will instead focus on single seater racing, IndyCar, and GT Racing.