The new Chevrolet Cruze racing car that will compete in the 2009 FIA World Touring Car Championship was unveiled at the Bologna Motor Show by Nicola Larini himself.

The race livery of the Cruze aims at stressing the new design language for Chevrolet in Europe introduced with the Cruze street version. It results from a team effort of different departments within GM Europe, coordinated by Phillip Zak, Director Exterior Design GM Europe, who said: "As a racing fan myself, I was thrilled to be involved with this project. My main direction to the team was that we wanted a bold unique dynamic graphic that stands out on the race track as the bold dynamic Cruze will also stand out from competitors in the street. The team colors have been incorporated on as a continuation of our successful past. The super graphics are asymmetrical and unexpected, with a geometric execution, while we have accentuated the Chevrolet grille, which is the global face of Chevrolet. I am sure the Cruze WTCC will certainly help transmitting the dynamic spirit of Chevrolet!"

The WTCC racing program is an essential element of the marketing plan for the Chevrolet Cruze, the new compact sedan launched last October at the Paris Motor Show. The Cruze WTCC is currently undergoing an intensive program of testing and development, in the hands of the three drivers Larini, Robert Huff and Alain Menu.


WTCC driver Franz Engstler was declared winner of the 2008 BMW Sports Trophy during the traditional BMW Sport Pokal party, in Munich. Engstler topped a record field of 141 independent drivers from twenty different countries, the longest list of competitors in the BMW Trophy's 40-year history.

Having scored 47 points, Engstler collected a cheque of 30,000 euros, while the runner-up prizes of 25,000 and 21,000 euros respectively went to the Swedish Touring Car Championship winner Richard Goransson and to Mat Jackson who finished second in the British Touring Car Championship. Engstler collected most of his points by placing second in the WTCC Independents' Trophy, but managed to improve his score with victories in the Asian Touring Car Series, the ADAC Procar Series, and in the Nurburgring and Dubai 24-hour races.

Others WTCC Independendents classified in the BMW Sport Trophy were Kristian Poulsen (6th), Sergio Hernandez (7th), Stefano D'Aste (8th) and Andrey Romanov (15th).


Next Monday, December 8th, Nicola Larini will defend last year's victory in the tournament for WTCC cars at the Bologna Motor Show.

The Chevrolet driver and his Lacetti car will take part in the Yokohama World Touring Car Show, that will be held on the short and twisty track drawn among the pavillions of Bologna's Exhibition Centre.

Six drivers will participate, facing each other in a series of pursuit races. Besides Larini's Chevrolet, BMW will be represented by Jorg Muller (Schnitzer Motorsport) and Duncan Huisman (RBM), while SEAT will enter Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT Sport) and Oscuar Nogues (Sunred Engineering). The field is completed by Tomas Engstrom's Honda Accord.

COUNTDOWN: - 92 DAYS to the 2009 FIA WTCC Race of Brazil - 7th / 8th March, in Curitiba