Following RML’s announcement that they will build a new Chevrolet Cruze in compliance with the new WTCC technical regulations, the company’s Chief Executive, Ray Mallock, agreed to answer a few questions:
Why did RML decide to build a car for the new WTCC regulations?
“We firmly believe in the value of the WTCC as a platform for sponsors, drivers and manufacturers. WTCC should be the pinnacle of production car based competition and we want to be part of the series, supporting the transition to the exciting new regulations.”
How many cars have you planned to build and when will they be ready?
“We will build a minimum of four cars although this number could increase to six. The plan is to have first two cars ready around the 12th March. In case we build more than six, we will not be able to supply the additional cars before Marrakech.”
Will customer teams own the engines outright or will they be a lease deal?
“As is the case with our current customer teams in WTCC (Nika Racing, bamboo-engineering, Tuenti Racing) we will continue to lease our in house engine at all times.”
Is there any involvement from GM in this project?
“Our friends at GM have worked closely with us on the homologation of the car. Beyond that, no, although we continue to have a close and strong relationship with GM.”
Will RML be running any cars in 2014?
“No, we have agreed with our customer teams that RML will not run in direct competition with them.”
Will RML be supporting any teams?
“If we are asked to provide additional support, we are happy to do so. This support will be available to any of the teams.”
What will happen to RML’s Championship-winning race team?
“We are immensely proud of our WTCC race team over the past years. In 2013 we had to reduce the size of the programme and the resources available to them, but still they managed to dominate the Championship. Our strength is in our people, our culture, our systems and our knowledge. We have been engaged in a hugely exciting and challenging Le Mans Prototype project since March this year and many of them will be transferred over.
This hybrid project compliments our knowledge and further expands into high performance automotive and other motorsport projects, both above and below the radar very well.”
Will RML return to WTCC as a race team?
“WTCC is very close to our heart and RML has a lot to offer to a manufacturer wanting to compete at the highest level in WTCC.”
If RML returns in 2015 representing a manufacturer, what happens to the customer cars?
“We are a high performance automotive engineering company, experienced in running multiple programmes. Our customer programmes are a vital part of our business model. We have been supporting our customers to race and championship wins ever since we began in Touring cars in the early 1990s and that high level of commitment will continue.”