Chevrolet has made the shock announcement that it will quit the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the end of the current season, following a strategic review of its motorsport and marketing programmes.
The carmaker has been part of the WTCC landscape since the championship was re-formed in 2005, and it is the most successful in the series with two Manufacturers’ Championship crowns, two Drivers’ Championship titles and a mammoth 59 race wins.
The RML factory-supported team currently leads both championship titles in 2012, including a dominant 1-2-3 in the Drivers’ standings.
The RML squad is currently the only fully manufacturer-supported entry in this year’s championship, although next year will see SEAT, LADA and Honda return with factory-run efforts, making Chevrolet’s decision all the more curious.
“Naturally, making this announcement comes with very mixed emotions,” said Eric Nève, Chevrolet Motorsport Manager.
“This has been an amazing journey from our first season through to the double championship wins [in 2010 and 2011]. 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.”
Chevrolet has timed its announcement to give RML, its partners and drivers sufficient time to plan for the future.