Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden press release
Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden and Rickard Rydell set for WTCC curtain-raiser at Monza
Katrineholm (Sweden) 29 February 2012
Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden and reigning STCC champion Rickard Rydell will take part in the first round of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at Monza in March.
The WTCC is one of only four motor racing series with world championship status, alongside Formula 1, the World Rally Championship and the FIA GT1 World Championship. The WTCC has recently been at the centre of Chevrolet domination, with the marque having claimed the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in both 2010 and 2011.
For Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden, Monza will mark the squad’s fourth world championship event following three previous guest appearances in 2008 and 2010. Rydell, meanwhile – who will drive a WTCC-spec Chevrolet Cruze – enjoys substantial experience of the championship from his stint in the series between 2005-2009, when the Swede racked up five wins and no less than 24 podium finishes.
Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden’s main target for the 2012 season is to retain its title in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, where the squad will field two cars – one for Rydell, and one for a yet-to-be-announced driver. While priority will be given to the STCC effort, the team will simultaneously assess the opportunity of an extended WTCC programme, with further outings possible later this year.
The WTCC curtain-raiser at Monza takes place on March 10-11, with free practice and qualifying on the Saturday followed by a warm-up session and two races on the Sunday.
Rickard Rydell (driver): ”It will be great to return to the WTCC, and particularly to do it together with an all-Swedish team. Monza is very different from the circuits we visit in the STCC, with its long straights and heavy braking zones. It’s one of the fastest venues in the world, and I am really looking forward to go there with Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden. Our aim for the year ahead is to retain our STCC title, and the WTCC outing will provide us with a valuable opportunity to get back into the racing groove.”
Nicklas Karlsson (Team Principal): ”The WTCC round at Monza is inevitably going to be a big challenge, but we feel well prepared and view this as the perfect build-up to our title-defending STCC campaign. Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden has evolved in an increasingly positive direction over the past few years, and this is yet another encouraging step for us. Thanks to the platform that has been offered by the STCC, we have been able to shape a team that is better equipped today than it has ever been before, and we are ready to face this highly motivating challenge.”
Jonas Ahnve (Managing Director, Chevrolet Sweden): ”Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden continues to present exciting news, and the step into the world championship only seems rational coming off the back of last year’s STCC success. Although currently just a one-round project, it will be extremely interesting to follow the team throughout the weekend at Monza – especially with such an established and proven driver as Rickard Rydell behind the wheel. The WTCC is a championship that has been dominated by Chevrolet in recent years, and which has helped strengthen the brand on the international arena. We are looking forward to take part in that.”