The RML group has confirmed that it will deploy a number of upgrades to its Chevrolet Cruze TC1 racers for the final four flyaway rounds of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.

The championship-winners turned car builders have tested the latest configurations on a Campos Engineering Chevrolet at Barcelona ahead of the series’ maiden visit to Beijing’s Goldenport Park circuit on the first weekend of October.

“Campos did a great job in flying a car back during the Argentina/Beijing gap and we worked with them on a development program and testing of new parts at Barcelona. The parts have been driven by their drivers and they have also tested some new drivers, so we are pretty confident they are a step forward,” RML’s head of design, Mark Wray, said.

The RML Chevrolet Cruzes have been the main competitors to the all-dominant Citroëns in what has been a lopsided season under the series’ new technical regulations, but the carmaker is hopeful that the latest changes will help close the gap to the French manufacturer.

“We have a lot of respect for our competitors but we also know what it takes to make a Touring Car quick. Our design and development cycle was extremely short and there were areas we knew we could develop more with more time. We had our own race before the season to design, manufacture and deliver six cars to customers in the time available so I would have to say we did not expect but were delighted with the out of the box speed of the car,” Wray added.

“We have three great customer teams but they have limited resources and budget and we are not a works backed programme. We don’t have a test car or development budget. Testing outside of a race weekend has been limited and therefore the optimisation phase of the program has been slow. Optimising a race car during and for a specific race weekend is one thing, developing a race car over a race weekend is another.

“Having said that, the RML Cruze is the only car other than Citroën to have qualified on pole and won a race so far this season which I think is an amazing testimony to the basic design and the determination of all the teams.”

Image via XPB Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.