Reigning World Touring Car Championship winners RML have showcased their brand new 2014-spec Chevrolet Cruze, officially launching its customer programme for the upcoming season.
The Wellingborough-based outfit – which had a direct involvement in all four major championship titles on offer in each WTCC season – confirmed that it would not directly run a team in next year’s championship as it did this year, when it campaigned a pair of ex-works Chevrolet Cruzes for Yvan Muller and Tom Chilton.
Additionally, it also supplied customer cars to the Bamboo Engineering, NIKA Racing and Tuenti Racing teams during the season.
Instead, the team has taken on the task – with Chevrolet’s blessing – of designing a new-spec Cruze that conforms to the new ‘TC1’ Super 2000 regulations, which will compete against the fully works-supported cars designed by Citroën, Honda and LADA. These cars will be supplied on a customer basis to independent teams and/or drivers.
“I am delighted that this project can now be officially announced and that RML will be supplying a number of customer cars to the 2014 WTCC grid,” RML CEO Ray Mallock said.
“Strategically this opportunity is of great significance to RML as we reaffirm our commitment to the WTCC in the long-term and the introduction of the exciting new regulations.
“The car is a completely new clean sheet design – it has to be to take advantage of the new regulations. The car represents a very significant step forward in performance over the existing Cruze, with significant aero gain, weight reduction and 20% more power increase. Of course with Citroën entering the championship next year along with Honda and Lada, we are in no doubt of the challenges that lay ahead to ensure that RML’s customers remain at the forefront of the series.
“The new car looks stunning and its performance will be way ahead of the current generation of cars.”
To-date, French driver Hugo Valente and Britain’s Tom Chilton have confirmed that they have each ordered a new Cruze for the 2014 season; the former will run his car with Campos Racing, while the latter is still to confirm which team he will race under.
The Bamboo Engineering team has also confirmed it is interested in another customer deal with the team, while BMW stalwarts ROAL Motorsport are also believed to be contemplating a switch to the all-new Cruze.
RML is understood to be looking at building and supplying up to six cars to be ready for the start of the season.