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Gianni Morbidelli looking forward to WTCC return

Münnich Motorsport’s Gianni Morbidelli admits that he is looking forward to his return to the World Touring Car Championship in Morocco this weekend, despite the Italian having carried out little pre-season testing.

Morbidelli makes his return to the WTCC this season in a brand new TC1 Chevrolet Cruze, having previously only competed in the series during 2006, where he scored a brace of podium finishes in Brazil and Mexico.

Münnich Motorsport were the last team to place their order for a pair of the new RML-built cars and as a result only received their Cruze’s a couple of weeks before the season opener.

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“Luckily, in spite of a taxing time waiting for the new Chevy being delivered, once the Cruzes hit the track at Portimao they were a pleasant surprise,” said Morbidelli. “I racked up nearly 600 kms there without experiencing any major problem or those nagging issues that are the norm when a car has just left the shop. I have some tweaks to do, just those little things a driver likes to have to suit his driving style.”

Morbidelli admits to being pleased with his initial impressions of the new car, which featgures more power compared to the last time he raced in the series at the wheel of a normally-aspirated Alfa Romeo 156.

“The TC1 Cruze is impressive, quite a long shot from the old Super 2000 car I was familiar with,” explained Morbidelli. “More power, an improved aero and better grip from wider tyres. It’s a front and center racecar.

The 46-year-old says that he is thankful to all who have helped him make his return to the WTCC after seven years away. Morbidelli admits that he is not setting high expectations for Marrakech due to the lack of pre-season preparation.

“With race day just around the corner I am at a loss of words recalling all the persons that have got out of their way to make my WTCC plan happen: I pledge to thank them all by putting in the best effort I can day in and day out,” added Morbidelli.

“I am level headed about Marrakech, as heading for the opener without a solid winter mileage possibly does not make us front runners, but I’m looking forward to have a good time this season with Münnich’s team.”

Photo by Münnich Motorsport

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