Bamboo Engineering have announced that British racer Alex MacDowall and Italian former single seater driver Pasquale Di Sabatino will form their driver line up for the 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship, their third campaign in the World series and second with their Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T cars.
For MacDowall, the move into the World Series comes on the back of two seasons in the British Touring Car Championship, where he partnered Jason Plato in the works RML Chevrolet team.
Speaking about the news that he would be joining the World Series, MacDowall said: “I am absolutely delighted at being selected by my new team bamboo engineering to represent them in their 2012 WTCC campaign, driving the 1.6 turbo Cruze.
“It is a fantastic racecar and it’s great to be continuing my relationship with Chevrolet and the Cruze and two really good campaigns in the BTCC, where I received tremendous support from the fans and sponsors. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of WTCC and I hope to be able to reward bamboo engineering for their faith in my ability with consistently good results”
For team-mate Di Sabatino, he joins the series having competed in the supporting Auto GP Championship in 2011, having previously raced in the Italian Formula 3 and Formula Renault 3.5 Championships.
“I’m very pleased to have signed with bamboo,” said Di Sabatino from his home in Atri. “Moving up to the WTCC is a very important step in my career. I’m very pleased to be starting this new adventure with bamboo; they are a very good, professional team and have proved themselves in the WTCC previously.
“I have a lot to learn this year but I’m confident that with bamboo we can achieve some good results. It’s also very important for me to be competing in this championship as my hero and friend Gabriele Tarquini will also be competing.
“This will be my first year of racing at a world championship level but I make a promise to myself, bamboo engineering and everyone who has made this possible, that I will not disappoint, I can’t wait to start at Monza”
Team Principal Richard Coleman is pleased to have secured both MacDowall and Di Sabatino for the forthcoming season, which gets underway over the 10/11 March at Monza.
“We’re obviously delighted to have Alex and Pasquale with us for the 2012 season,” commented Coleman.
“This will be bamboo’s third assault on the Yokohama Independents Trophy and our aim every year is to be competing for the trophy. We’ve managed to achieve this so far and I’m very confident that with this driver pairing we’ll continue to do so in 2012.
“Alex has proved himself in the BTCC over the last two seasons and I’m sure he’ll shine at world level as well. Pasquale of course has no previous Touring Car experience but he’s a very quick racing driver and I’m sure he’ll adapt very quickly to the cars”.
Eric Neve, Motorsport Manager of Chevrolet Europe is pleased to see bamboo running the Cruzes in the WTCC again and he feels that both MacDowall and Di Sabatino will secure enviable results in their debut season at World level racing.
He said: “We at Chevrolet Europe are very happy to have such a professional team as Bamboo Engineering running Cruzes in the WTCC again this year. Their standards of work are in our eyes the highest in the Independent Trophy and hope this will reward Alex and Pasquale with enviable results in their maiden season in a world championship”.
MacDowall and Di Sabatino will sample their cars at a shakedown next week at the Rockingham Motor Speedway before the cars are sent to Monza ahead of the first official test session ahead of the opening rounds of the season in March.