Japanese driver Manabu Orido joins Chevrolet

Will Drive Fourth Chevrolet Lacetti In Monza, Okayama, Macau OSCHERSLEBEN, The Chevrolet brand will expand its presence in the WTCC to four cars when Japanese driver Manabu "Max" Orido joins the championship for the final three rounds of the...

Will Drive Fourth Chevrolet Lacetti In Monza, Okayama, Macau

OSCHERSLEBEN, The Chevrolet brand will expand its presence in the WTCC to four cars when Japanese driver Manabu "Max" Orido joins the championship for the final three rounds of the 2008 season. Orido will make his debut at the last European race in Monza, before continuing at his home race in Okayama and the WTCC finale at the Macau street track. The Japanese driver will be run by Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden.

Orido (39) started his career in the 1992 Fuji Freshman series, which he won at his first attempt. In 1995 he became the Japanese Super Silvia Champion, winning his class in the Tokachi 24 Hours the following year. Since then he is a regular in the Japanese GT Championship, notably finishing second in the 2001 Macau GP when that year the Japanese championship had its finale race at the former Portuguese enclave. He also won JGTC races in 2003 and '05, and finished second in class at the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours. As such, he is quite familiar with the Okayama and Macau race tracks. Orido also raced in NASCAR when the American series visited Japan in 1999 and he is one of Japan's drifting champions, an immensely popular motor racing spin-off discipline.

The fourth Chevrolet Lacetti entered in the last three races is the Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden car Tomas Schie normally drives in the Swedish Touring Car Championship.

"It is an honour to be the first Japanese driver in the history of the WTCC," Manabu Orido said. "I would like to thank all those who made this happen for me. I hope that my presence in one of the three official FIA World Championships will help the series gain in popularity in Japan, especially so for the Okayama round in October. Hopefully my knowledge of the Okayama track, which is new to the WTCC calendar, can benefit the other three Chevrolet drivers and help them in their races."

-credit: chevroleteurope.com

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Series WTCC
Drivers Manabu Orido