Tom Coronel and Tom Chilton will line up behind the wheel of RML-built Chevrolet Cruzes for the 2014 World Touring Car Championship season, run by former BMW outfit ROAL Motorsport.
Italian outfit ROAL Motorsport have run BMW cars in the WTCC since 2005, with the exception of 2010 when the team did not participate. During their time with the German manufacturer the team have scored ten victories, with three being delivered by Coronel.
With BMW no longer supporting the WTCC, ROAL had no choice but to look elsewhere if they wished to continue competing at the front end of the grid. However ROAL founder Roberto Ravaglia explained that it is not the end of the line for himself and BMW, for whom he took the DTM title in 1989 as a driver.
“We are not severing our long standing ties with BMW,” explained Ravaglia. “Actually we will keep on racing BMW cars in other series. However, because unfortunately BMW decided not to develop a new WTCC car and we wished to stay in the series, we had no alternatives than looking for another brand. We believe that the RML-built Chevrolet Cruze provides a great opportunity of running a competitive car.”
For Coronel, the deal marks his tenth successive season in the WTCC, although the experienced Dutchman admits that he was initially not sure if a deal could be achieved for the 2014 season.
“Everything was aimed at competing in this important touring car series for another year,” said Coronel, who continues with ROAL for a fourth straight season. “Gradually, more and more lights switched to green, but I know from past experience that you aren’t totally safe like that. Now, I am – and well in advance, unlike in many previous years.”
Tom Chilton enters his third season in the WTCC and his second at the wheel of a Chevrolet. The Brit will move from RML to ROAL as the former are not going to run their own team in 2014, instead opting to focus on customer support in the series.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of driving a faster car with another highly rated team like ROAL Motorsport,” added Chilton. “Tom Coronel is a good friend and I think he will be a good team mate. We will be fast on the track and have the most fun at the same time whilst getting the job done.”