ROAL Motorsport has announced their return to the World Touring Car Championship in 2011, and will be fielding a 1.6-litre turbocharged BMW 320TC for none other than Tom Coronel will return to BMW colours in 2011 SEAT veteran Tom Coronel.

The deal means Coronel returns to the BMW fold after six seasons spent piloting SEATs – he last raced a BMW in the European Touring Car Championship – and will see the Dutchman return to competing in the Independents’ Trophy championship, where he is a two-time title winner.

The Italian-run BMW Italia-Spain squad left the WTCC at the end of 2009 when BMW opted to reduce its manufacturer-backed support in the championship, and it headed to the Italian Superstars Series, winning the 2010 title with Thomas Biagi.

ROAL Motorsport's mock-up of Coronel's 2011 livery 
The livery mock-up released by ROAL BMW 

“I have the feeling that I won the Italian lottery and hit the jackpot!” Coronel exclaimed when the news was announced overnight.

“It is so great to work with the ROAL team and especially with [team principal] Roberto Ravaglia,” he added. “"I have known ROAL for many years now, first in ETCC and later in WTCC, this is a race winning team!”

“The comeback in FIA WTCC, alongside the commitment in the Superstars Series, will constitute a rich sportive programme that makes ROAL Motorsport the only team present in both the two most important touring car international championships,” added team boss Robert Ravaglia.

“"Lately, we worked hard on the organization of all human and technical resources within the team to guarantee the maximum autonomy to both activities and the contribution of a fast and well experienced driver like Tom Coronel will be a further added value for the team.”

Ravaglia added that his outfit would be aiming to compete with the works’ SEAT and Chevrolet entries in 2011.

[Original images via ROAL Motorsport and TW Steel]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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