Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden will field a Chevrolet Cruze for the entire 2013 FIA World Touring Car Championship season, although the outfit – which will be fronted by the NIKA Racing team – is yet to confirm which driver it will run.
NIKA Racing has fronted Chevrolet’s presence in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship since 2007, claiming the 2011 Drivers’ Championship crown with former WTCC driver Rickard Rydell, as well as three successive teams’ titles between 2010-2012.
The team made a one-off appearance in the WTCC last year, fielding Rydell at the season-opening Race of Italy at Monza. The Swede finished fourth in the opening race, and tenth in the second leg.
“This is a significant day in the history of NIKA Racing. We’ve been working towards a WTCC campaign for a number of years – mostly behind the scenes – and today’s announcement marks the realisation of a long-time ambition,” Team Manager Nicklas Karlsson said in the outfit’s media release.
“We now feel ready to make this leap and to do battle with the very best of touring car racing. We are fully aware that this is going to be an exceptionally tough challenge and we head into this season in a very humble frame of mind, but our target is definitely to establish ourselves at this level in the longer term. Big, big thanks to all our partners who have been instrumental in transforming this dream into reality.”
Rydell is not expected to be part of the team’s plans for 2013. In January, the 45-year-old confirmed that he would take a year off racing to work with Swedish broadcaster Viasat Motor as a commentator on its F1 telecasts.