Chevrolet popped into the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2005 with a fully modified Lacetti and was a near immediate success. In 2008, Chevy switched over to a modified Cruze and the wins kept coming. Actually, Chevy pretty much dominated the series for eight years, taking home the checkered flag in 59 races, taking home two drivers’ championships, and two constructors’ championships.
Despite all of its success, Chevy has chosen to end its stay in this not-so-popular racing series following the 2012 season. This comes as quite a surprise, given the fact that Chevy once again leads the drivers’ championship and constructors’ championship boards this year. Rarely does a manufacturer have such success in a series and chooses to pull out so sudden.
A silver lining to this announcement is that it is just mid-season, so all of its drivers and other various workers can try to find work elsewhere in the series or maybe in other racing series. With all of the success it has had, we are willing to bet that all of the employees and drivers on this team will have no trouble at all finding work, and some may even move onto bigger and better things.
The exact reasoning for Chevy pulling out was not given. We can connect dots pretty well and when you have a brand that is struggling to sell in Europe, despite its success in a European racing series, it is obvious that pouring money into said European racing series is throwing good money after bad.
Gallery Chevrolet Cruze WTCC
CHEVROLET TO STOP WTCC WORKS PROGRAMME
Chevrolet announced today that their factory commitment in the World Touring Car Championship will be halted by the end of the current season, following a strategic review of motorsport and marketing programmes.
The American manufacturer had joined WTCC from the championship’s maiden year back in 2005 with the Lacetti model car; they switched to the Cruze in 2009, winning twice the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in 2010 and 2011. The Chevrolet team are currently close to secure a third consecutive victory in both championships.
“We thank Chevrolet for supporting the WTCC over the last eight years. They joined from day 1 after they decided to make Chevrolet a global brand outside the US. They have been consistent, successful and actively used WTCC international platform to activate their network and build-up the brand profile. We very much mutually benefited from each other. We fully respect their decision and will keep on developing WTCC as an efficient promotional platform,” said Olivier Fisch, Managing Director of Eurosport Events.
Susan Docherty, President and Managing Director of Chevrolet Europe declared: “We are extremely proud of the two double world titles we have won. The WTCC has been a powerful brand platform and showcase for Chevrolet in Europe and markets throughout the world.”
WTCC General Manager Marcello Lotti commented: “This is motorsport! Manufacturers come and go. It happens to all the series every now and then, but life goes on. We now say goodbye to Chevrolet that has been a precious partner for what an unusual long period for a motorsport programme, but at the same time we welcome Honda’s arrival and are in negotiations with a few other car makers interested to join.”
In spite of the factory programme being stopped, it is quite likely that the Chevrolet brand will be represented by customer teams in the next season.