– Reigning World Champions aiming to defend title
– Exciting new driver line up with RML’s double World Champion driver being joined by British star Tom Chilton
– RML running existing Chevrolet Cruzes as Independents
WELLINGBOROUGH (UK): RML Group has today announced the team will be making a much anticipated return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship to defend its current status as reigning World Champions.
Although this is the first time that RML will contest two Chevrolet Cruzes as an Independent, there is still one clear mission – to defend and further add to their record-breaking success since the championship’s inception back in 2005.
At the helm of the 1.6L turbo-charged saloon, WTCC stand-out Yvan Muller retains his seat and is partnered by 2011 British Touring Car Independents champion and current WTCC driver, Tom Chilton.
Commenting on the latest signing, RML Chief Executive, Ray Mallock says: “Our partnership with Chevrolet reached a natural conclusion and whilst we are immensely proud of what we achieved on the track and for Chevrolet, time moves on and we are treating this as a whole new challenge.
“The competition in the WTCC remains formidable and we do not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead of us, particularly as we will have very limited pre-season testing.”
Ron Hartvelt, supervisor of the WTCC project adds: “This is great news for all at RML and we’re immensely proud that we’ve managed to get a deal in place. Everybody has been working incredibly hard to ensure we’re on the grid in Monza, so now we can look forward to working with Yvan and Tom to ensure this is a year to remember.
“Yvan of course has been with us since 2010, with two titles secured in the Cruze so we benefit greatly with his continued involvement. Tom is new to RML but he’s demonstrated his natural ability and speed through his first year in the championship and of course through his success in the BTCC. Tom now has good technical knowledge of the tracks we compete on and he’s well equipped with front-wheel drive touring car experience so I think he’ll be a great asset from the start. We all look forward to working with him.”
On his fourth year with the team, Yvan Muller says: “I’m very fired-up for the new season and highly motivated to challenge for the title again. I have been with RML for four years and I am very happy to continue our long association. I have the highest respect for the RML team and a lot of faith in their ability to prepare and race a winning car. For sure we’ll be mixing it with the works teams. Bring it on!”
On his switch to the Cruze, Tom Chilton explains: “2013 is looking very exciting for me. Last year was a real learning curve, both in terms of getting used to a new championship and in quickly adapting to new circuits. So now I have that experience, my target for this year is to be competitive from the start and to focus on consistent podium-worthy performance. RML is a top team and I really can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the Cruze – I know there’ll be a lot to learn quickly but I believe I’ll be with one of the best teams to teach me.”
2013 FIA WTCC Calendar
24 Mar Monza, Italy
7 Apr Marrakech, Morocco
28 Apr Slovakia Ring, Slovakia
5 May Hungaroring, Budapest
19 May Salzburgring, Austria
9 Jun Moscow, Russia
30 Jun Porto, Portugal
28 Jul Curitiba, Brazil
08 Sep Sonoma, USA
22 Sep Suzuka, Japan
03 Nov Shanghai, China
17 Nov Macau, Macau