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Dec 13, 2013 - 04:47 PM
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FIA WTCC Newsletter
Posted by: newsla on Dec 13, 2013 - 04:40 PM
Sports Cars
FIA WTCC Newsletter

ROAL Motorsport will field Chevrolet Cruze cars for Tom Chilton and Tom Coronel in the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship. The Italian team committed to run two of the cars that RML is building in compliance with WTCC new technical regulations.


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This is a turning point for ROAL Motorsport that has raced only BMW cars since it was founded in 2001. And for team Principal Roberto Ravaglia himself who drove for BMW Motorsport from 1984 to 1997.

“We are not severing our long standing ties with BMW. 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,” Ravaglia explained.

Chilton and Coronel were classified fifth and tenth in the 2013 championship, with two race wins apiece. The 28-year old Englishman joins ROAL Motorsport after racing for Arena Motorsport and RML, while the 41-year old Dutch faces his fourth season with the Italian team.

Tom Chilton said: “I'm really looking forward to the challenge of driving a faster car with another highly rated team like ROAL Motorsport. 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.”

Tom Coronel echoed: “It’s good to stay with a professional team like ROAL Motorsport after being the best BMW driver in the last three years with them. I also am happy to stay in WTCC because I have been in the championship since the beginning. The series is the best package for my sponsors and also for myself as driver. Tom Chilton is a good friend and I had good battles with him last year, so it’s nice to have him as team-mate.”

In Short...

ROAL Motorsport was founded in 2001 by former WTCC and ETCC champion Roberto Ravaglia and Aldo Preo.
Since then the Italian team has been a regular in the European Touring Car Championship first and the World Touring Car Championship from 2005, claiming the 2001 European Super Production title with Peter Kox and ten WTCC race victories with Alessandro Zanardi, Félix Porteiro, Sérgio Hernández and Tom Coronel.

Tom Coronel is one of the only three drivers who joined WTCC from the first season; the others are Gabriele Tarquini and Rob Huff. He won four races and was twice Yokohama Trophy champion (2006 and 2009); his best placing in the Drivers’ Championship was fourth in 2011. During his long and successful career he collected two Dutch titles: Touring Cars and Formula Ford, the Formula Opel Nations Cup, and two Japanese championships: Formula 3 and Formula Nippon.

Tom Chilton is facing his third WTCC season in 2014. After a disappointing maiden year with Arena Motorsport, in 2013 he raced for RML claiming his first two race wins and finishing fifth in the Drivers’ Championship. Before joining WTCC he raced in the British Touring Car Championship, winning twelve races and the 2011 Independents’ title.

2012 WTCC champion Rob Huff won last Sunday the 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race in Willows, California at the wheel of an Audi TT RS run by Rotek Racing.

Huff shared the German car with Robb Holland, Kevin Gleason, Roland Pritzker and Jeff Altenburg. They completed 705 laps, beating the Barrett Racing Porsche GT3 and the West Racing Radical SR3 by 28 and 30 laps respectively.

The former WTCC champion began the race, setting the team’s fastest laps of 1:45.491, and also ended it with a double stint.
“To win in such fine style with a massive margin was a phenomenal achievement. It’s a real honour to have been involved in this remarkable feat, with such a great bunch of guys. While we had a few teething problems during practice and qualifying, the race ran like clockwork and the car was a dream to drive. It was a textbook endurance race and I loved every second of it! We don’t have to do anymore California dreamin’ now, because the victory is a reality!” Huff commented.

Fredy Barth is always one of the most willing racing drivers as far as social initiatives are concerned. This year he volunteered once again as a chauffeur for Nez Rouge, the campaign that targets to prevent accidents on the road in the Luzern region.

During Christmas holidays, when the many parties may result in people overindulging and therefore being unfit to drive, Nez Rouge provides sober chauffeurs to drive them safely back home.

The service is entirely free but a voluntary contribution is very welcome and profits will be donated to a local charity.

Barth is joined by other familiar faces from the world of motorsport, like Eric Nève (former head of Chevrolet Motorsport) and Andrina Gugger (winner of the ETCC Ladies’ Trophy). They will all be at the wheel of vehicles supplied by Jaguar Land Rover Switzerland.

During the first weekend Barth and his fellow chauffeurs drove back home 62 people in 36 trips, for a total of 1868 km, safely and quickly. This represents an increase of around 50% over last year.

Pepe Oriola will appear this Sunday in the charity programme “Marató” aired on the Catalan channel TV3.
The event is broadcasted live by TV3 with the aim of raising funds for charitable purposes. This year’s proceeds will be donated in support of research and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

One of the first ever charity TV programmes in Spain, “Marató” was launched by TV3 back in 1992. During last year’s edition it raised over twelve million Euros in donations.

Oriola was also invited to play in the celebrities’ football match that will held at 11.30, on Sunday 15th December, at the Mini Stadium of Fútbol Club Barcelona. The match will be aired live on Esports 3.

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