Photo: WTCC Media

Hugo Valente is the first driver to sign for a new RML Chevrolet

French driver Hugo Valente will return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship for his first full season in the Championship next year behind the wheel of a brand new 2014-spec Chevrolet Cruze, which will be built by this year’s drivers and teams’ champions RML.

The car will be run by Campos Racing, as they have run the SEAT León for Valente and Fernando Monje and a number of guest drivers this season. It’ll mark the first time that Campos Racing, formerly SUNRED, have a run a car in the WTCC that is not a SEAT.

“It’s going to be a tricky winter for all the drivers, as there aren’t that many cars available,” said Valente to TouringCarTimes.

“I got the opportunity to stay here at Campos with the Chevrolet, and I thought it was a great idea, as Citroën, Honda, and Lada all have their drivers so there was only Chevrolet, and when we had the opportunity to get one of these cars we went for it, as Chevrolet has been dominating for the past years, and I don’t see why it won’t be a fast car for next year. I hope to have a team-mate, as it’s always better to learn and improve rather than being by yourself.”

Although this year’s Yokohama Trophy champions bamboo-engineering have announced their intentions to run the RML-built Cruzes for 2014, Valente is the first driver to have a formal order in place with the touring car power house, and will therefore be the first to take delivery of the car, which is set to be the last to be ready for the 2014 season, with Citroën already testing their C-Elysée, and the Honda and Lada expected to hit the track slightly earlier in 2014.

“We’re the first one who has a contract, so we should have the first car, and the first car is planned to be during the second week of March,” said Valente. “If everything’s on time we might be able to do some testing which will be a big advantage compared to the other drivers…anyway it’s going to be very little testing, no driving from Macau till March.”