Zürich - Chevrolet is commemorating eight successful years of racing with a highlights reel reliving the emotions, joy, pain, tears and celebrations that marked the tortuous climb to the summit of the world’s top touring car series.
The video highlights the journey taken by the Chevrolet team from the inception of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in 2005, with the Chevrolet Lacetti more than two seconds behind pole position, to the brand’s last race in Macau in November 2012 – with the Chevrolet Cruzes claiming the top three spots and leaving the series with 68 race wins under its belt.
The turnaround was the result of Chevrolet’s and RML’s determination to being the best in the world, a philosophy that is reflected in Chevrolet’s production road cars.
“When we re-launched the brand in Europe in 2005, we decided to take on the challenge posed by the WTCC as this would be a veritable testing ground for our cars. Over the years, we have climbed to the helm of the series,” said Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe.
Chevrolet also re-wrote the record books after finishing the 2012 season with a massive 1,025 points – a feat that had never been achieved in the FIA-organized WTCC.
The numbers are staggering: the Chevrolet drivers completed 23 double and 17 triple victories, claimed 184 podiums, 36 pole positions and 61 fastest laps in 178 races.
They led for 820 laps and won a total of 3,580 Manufacturers’ championship points (4,470 Drivers’ points) over the eight-year participation in the WTCC – more than any other constructor.
The Chevrolet Cruze has become one of the brand’s top selling nameplates. Since its launch in 2009, more than 1.7 million Cruzes have been sold, an achievement that can in part be attributed to the success on the track.
Following a strategic review of Chevrolet’s motorsport and marketing programs, Chevrolet decided to leave the WTCC at the end of the 2012 season.
“We are extremely proud of the three double World Titles we have won in the series and of the 68 victories over the last eight years.
‘’Chevrolet’s WTCC Cruze drivers, Rob Huff, Alain Menu and Yvan Muller, finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 2012 season.
They are more than great racing drivers and they have been exemplary brand ambassadors for Chevrolet, embodying Louis Chevrolet’s can-do spirit every time they race,” Docherty added.
Muller won two Drivers’ titles and 20 races for Chevrolet in three years while Huff, who took the chequered flag 23 times, claimed the third. The Briton, one of the original three Chevrolet drivers with Menu and Nicola Larini, was also the first to win points for the team in 2006.
Menu was the first and the last to win races for Chevrolet. He drove his Chevrolet to victory 23 times. Larini notched up one victory and Rickard Rydell, who sat in as a fourth guest driver in his native Sweden in 2007, also won a race for Chevrolet.
The technical and sports aspect were entrusted to the British racing organization RML, a partnership that proved extremely successful.
Ray Mallock, Chief Executive, RML, said: “Everyone at RML is very proud of the multiple championships we have won for Chevrolet in the WTCC.
Over the last eight years we have played a key role in promoting and building the Chevrolet brand across the world and the success of this program has also been a great platform to develop the RML brand globally.”
Chevrolet will continue to be present in global motorsports with its many other race series, including IndyCar, NASCAR and GT racing.
Chevrolet WTCC Racing