Rickard Rydell ready for WTCC return at Monza

Reigning Scandinavian Touring Car champion Rickard Rydell will make his return to the WTCC for the first time since 2009 at Monza for Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden.

Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden will be running one of RML’s 2011-specification Cruzes at the season opener, with a 1.6 litre turbocharged engine. The 44-year-old Swede tested recently alongside the works Chevrolet team in Valencia in preparation for his return.

“It will be fun to get back to the WTCC, and to do it with a Swedish team,” said Rydell.

“Monza is a track that is unlike any of them we have competed in the STCC, with its long straights and hard braking. It is one of the fastest courses in the world, and it will be really fun to go there along with Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden. Our goal is to defend the STCC title from last year, and the WTCC premiere gives us the chance to best get into the swing of the season.”

Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden are currently scheduled to do just the Monza round of the WTCC, though the team will be evaluating the possibility of an expanded programme alongside their STCC commitments and defence of their title with two cars in the STCC.

“The WTCC race at Monza will be a big challenge, but we feel well prepared and see this as the perfect dress rehearsal for the coming STCC season,” said Team Principal Nicklas Karlsson.

“Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden has developed into a more positive direction in recent years, and this is another step in the right direction. Thanks to the platform the STCC has offered, we have been able to shape a team that is better prepared today than at any of our previous appearances in the WTCC, and are now ready to test ourselves against the best in the world.”