JD Motorsport's Vladimir Arabadzhiev enjoyed his first taste of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) this week in Pembrey, United Kingdom, thanks to the Chevrolet WTCC team.

The Bulgarian was chosen by the team to test their WTCC race car, the Cruze, alongside official driver Rob Huff, as a reward for a top season within International Formula Master this year.

As part of this week's test, Arabadzhiev was given the chance to complete both a qualifying run and a race outing of ten laps, and said: "To spend a day working with a WTCC's works team has been a great opportunity for me. It doesn't happen often that young formulae drivers are given a chance to explore other motorsports top disciplines, like touring cars, in such a professional environment.

"It was a very interesting experience, as it was quite unusual to drive a front wheel drive race car for the first time. The team was very helpful to get me comfortable in the car and build my confidence before giving me a new set of tyres to do a qualifying run before a ten-lap race run. Rob Huff was available to give me some tips regarding his car and this proved useful to improve my lap times. I wish to thank Chevrolet and IFM for giving me this opportunity."

Although no official times were recorded, Arabadzhiev is said to have set qualifying times within seven tenths of experienced WTCC driver Huff, whilst the Bulgarian's race run saw him set a best lap just three tenths behind Huff.

Eric Neve, Chevrolet Europe Motorsport Manager, added: "One of the good things about the WTCC sharing racing weekends with the International Formula Master Series is the possibility to cooperate and to organise test sessions with their drivers, which allow us to look at young talents coming from single-seaters and allow a new generation of drivers to look for opportunities in the touring car scene.

"We are delighted to have Vladimir Arabadzhiev, a promising driver from one of the emerging European countries in motorsports, as the first IFM driver testing a Chevrolet and we are very satisfied with the extremely professional job he did during the test day."

International Formula Master General Manager Alessandro Alunni Bravi also commented: "The goal for International Formula Master has always been to train young drivers for the higher steps of motorsport. The FIA World Touring Car Championship is the very best out there in terms of touring car competition and the Chevrolet team holds a stunning racing history within the championship.

"We are truly honoured to have one of our IFM drivers, Vladimir Arabadzhiev, chosen to test with this team and given the opportunity to benefit from their extensive experience. I would like to thank Eric Neve and the Chevrolet team personally for their incredible support this season."

-credit: ifm