World Touring Car Championship rookie Hugo Valente will return to next year’s championship on a full-time basis behind the wheel of a brand new 2014-spec Chevrolet Cruze, which will be designed and built by this year’s runaway champions, RML.
The new car will be run by Campos Racing, which has fielded one of its SEAT Leóns on a part-time basis for the Frenchman. It will mark the first time that the Spanish squad – in either its current ownership or under its former guise of SUNRED – has fielded anything other than a SEAT in the WTCC.
“It’s going to be a tricky winter for all the drivers, as there aren’t that many cars available,” Valente confirmed after the season-ending Macau Guia Race, in which he failed to finish both races.
“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,” he added.
“[Given] Chevrolet has been dominating for the past years, I don’t see why it won’t be a fast car for next year.”
The RML-built Cruzes will be in hot demand next year, with a number of teams – Bamboo Engineering and ROAL Motorsport, among others – clamoring for the expertise of the British team in order for them to remain competitive next year.
It is expected that Valente will take delivery of his new car shortly before the start of the 2014 championship, which kicks off in Morocco in April.