Independent Trophy team Bamboo Engineering is hopeful it may score the use of 1.6-litre turbo engines under the World Touring Car Championship’s new S2000 regulations, and has the championship-winning Chevrolet Cruze at the top of their shopping list.
The British squad – running the venerable Chevrolet Lacetti – finished second in the Yokohama team’s championship in their debut WTCC season with Darryl O’Young, Harry Vaulkhard and Yukinori Taniguchi at the wheel. The team is also hopeful of expanding to other championships as the team grows.
Bamboo’s team principal Richard Coleman told the Touring Car Times website: “Bamboo is an engineering company with its staff highly experienced in touring cars, rallying and sports cars, so if we find good people to work with we will run cars in other series’.”
With BMW’s announcement that it will offer its own 1.6-litre turbopowered cars for use in the Independents’ Trophy championship – despite confirming it would not field a works entry – next season, it is expected that the grid will swell with a host of 320si chassis’.
And while Bamboo Engineering have given the BMW option some consideration, they are pinning their hopes on continuing with Chevrolet, and hopefully getting their hands on the turbopowered Cruze for 2011.
“I think the Cruze will be difficult to beat, knowing how much effort has gone in at RML and they have been working on 1.6 long before anyone else [has],” Coleman added.
Whatever happens, the squad will definitely not run a 2.0-litre, normally-aspirated engine next year, fearing it will prove too uncompetitive in a turbo grid.
“There will be round-by-round 2.0 entries, but I don’t think any serious Indie team will be there with 2.0; I think everyone by round two or three will be 1.6 turbo,” he added.
Perhaps bolstering the team’s hopes – or fuelling rumours that RML might take on a new recruit (it depends on which way you look at it) – O’Young took to the wheel of a Cruze to help homologate the Chinese Guangdong circuit, which holds hopes of making its WTCC debut next season.
After completing three separate 10-lap stints behind the wheel – and taking two seconds off the circuit’s lap record – Hong Kong-based O’Young was full of praise after his first outing in Chevrolet’s latest offering.
“The Cruze is obviously a fantastic car, I loved it, you can really feel how much development work has been put into it. I definitely would want to drive one in my next WTCC campaign,” he hinted.