Chevrolet Entered the championship in a privately run package in 2009 with RML in Ex World Touring Car Chevrolet Lacettis, which RML were Running for Chevrolet in World Touring Cars. Jason Plato Came on Board as lead driver, after Seat Sports own shock decision to withdraw from BTCC, at the end of 2008 season. During the 2009 Season Plato Managed 8 wins in the lacetti, results which persuaded Chevrolet to enter a full supported package in 2010, running Two of the new Chevrolet Cruze cars, which again had been used in the World Touring Cars the season before.
The 2010 Season resulted in Plato Being crowned Drivers Champion at the final meeting of the year Brands Hatch, and Cap off a wonderful year were Plato took 7 wins, and 8 fastest laps in the season.
2011 was always going to be a difficult year in the BTCC as its better known, with the championship going through some massive changes involving the type of cars you can use. Currently Chevrolet used a Normally aspirated 2.0L engine in BTCC. But with the New rules brought in to keep the sports cost down, it was permitted to Run 2.0L turbo engines. Most of the other teams opted for the New Turbo power plant, which had a massive advantage over the Chevrolet. Even though the cruze was fantastic in the corners, the difference in speed on a straight was too much of a gap to close. Before the 2011 season the Team Were Promised there was to be parity between the Turbo cars and the Normally aspirated cars, as there was a transition period between the two specs. Although there were changes made during the course of the year the Chevrolet never really stood a chance against the turbo cars. Still with that Plato still managed to finish Third in the Championship and took 8 wins.
It was always going to be difficult for Chevrolet to enter the New BTCC season as World touring cars also had a change of car specification in 2011, which couldn’t be used in BTCC. So the only way they could enter the 2012 season was to develop a completely new car, based on the new turbo spec.
RML and Chevrolet UK announced last week they would not be taking part in the BTCC in 2012 and instead will focus on the World Touring Car Championship, Where for the last two seasons they have claimed both drivers title, and Manufacturers titles respectively.
RML Managing Director George Ledrum was quoted “We had set ourselves deadlines to press the green light for this season and we went past all of those, We had been working on a new Generation Touring Car until recently. We were a long way down the road with that but obviously Chevrolet had made the decision. We are obviously disappointed, but we are fully behind the BTCC and would like to be back in the future”
Chevrolet UK’s Managing Director Mark Terry said ” I would like to wish RML the very best for 2012, and thank our many fans for their support over the last two years”
This Means there will be no factory supported Chevrolet on the BTCC grid in 2012, although there are rumours other private teams may try and get the cruze back out. This time with a Turbo engine so watch this space.
In the Meantime You Chevy Racing fans can still cheer on Chevrolet and British Driver Rob Huff in the World touring Car Championship, which is shown on EuroSport. New season starts 11th March at Monza, and it should be a good one with Ford, Lada, BMW, and SEAT all having cars on the grid this year.
Below is some highlights from the 2011 Word Touring Car Championship enjoy