World Touring Car Championship race-winner Pepe Oriola will switch to a Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T for the next round of the championship in Portugal, receiving technical support from RML.
The WTCC’s youngest driver has raced at the wheel of SEAT machinery since making his début at the beginning of 2011. However the young Spaniard now believes the time is right to move on to more competitive, newer machinery.
“We had a good offer from RML to run with one of their cars and decided to accept it,” said the 18 year-old. “I am grateful to SEAT that gave me the opportunity to build my professional racing career since when I was 15 in the León Supercópa up to the WTCC. I would love to stay with them, but so far they have not decided about future programmes.”
Oriola admitted that the circumstances were not ideal ahead of the transition, but that the opportunity to race the car which has won the past three championships was too good to miss.
“I have to think about myself and I could not let go the opportunity to drive a Chevrolet. We won’t have the time for a proper test before Porto, so we have just planned a shakedown somewhere in England.”
Oriola has taken one win and three outright podiums at the wheel of a SEAT León WTCC in 60 races with the car.