Chevrolet Cruze RML YVAN MULLER WTCC WORLD CHAMPION
The World Touring Car Championship represented the pinnacle of competition for touring cars derived from the series from 2005 to 2017. During this period, spectacular door-to-door racing thrilled thousands of spectators on international circuits. Many manufacturers have tried their luck at world level, but the brand that has kept an official presence in the championship is by far Chevrolet, which was officially present for no less than eight consecutive seasons.
In 2005, the European Touring Car Championship became global and was renamed WTCC, the acronym for World Touring Car Championship. General Motors Europe is taking advantage of the opportunity and the global benefits guaranteed by Eurosport, promoter and broadcaster of the series, to take on brands for whom passenger cars have no secrets, such as Seat, Alfa Romeo and BMW.
To put the odds on its side, the Chevrolet Lacetti sedan is entered by Ray Mallock Ltd, a legendary English tuner who has already won Vauxhall and Nissan among others, and three renowned drivers named Alain Menu, Nicola Larini and Rob Huff . The first seasons are encouraging and the victories are multiple. But the blue Chevys aren’t fast enough yet to join the fight for the world title.
Chevrolet becomes a real contender for the world title when the Cruze succeeds the Lacetti in 2009. The Belgian Eric Nève, sports director of Chevrolet Europe, is very ambitious when the sedan is presented to the press: “The new Cruze marks the next stage of the history of Chevrolet Europe in motorsport. So far, we have achieved all the goals we set for ourselves in 2005, step by step: challenge the competition, score points, prove that we can win, and then play the leading roles in the championship. With the Cruze, we set the bar even higher because we are now determined to become champions. Chevy has worked with the same team, the same engineers and the same drivers for the past four seasons, with the success we all know. Being able to repeat that with the Cruze will only increase our chances of achieving our goals”
However, Chevrolet lacked a crucial element in its quest for the title: a top-notch driver capable of single-handedly pulling the team to the top. In 2009, the Blues were again beaten by Seat but at the end of the year, they managed to convince one of the best assets of the Spanish brand to join them. This new trump card is called Yvan Muller. The French driver has won everything in touring cars, including the WTCC where he was champion in a Leon TDI in 2008. But the following year, he was beaten by his teammate Gabriele Tarquini and chose to give new impetus to his career . By joining Chevrolet, the Alsatian takes a risk that will ultimately pay off.
In 2010, Muller scored three victories with the Cruze bearing the number 6. But it was above all his impressive consistency that was to make the difference, as he finished second nine times and third twice. He is thus crowned World Touring Car Champion for the second time in his career, all with a considerable lead over his pursuers. Chevrolet is also crowned champion of brands.
The Chevrolet Cruze present at DRM SportsCars represents a piece of motorsport history since it is the world champion example with Muller in 2010. “It was originally supposed to go to the Chevrolet museum in the United States, but when the WTCC program came to the end on the evening of the 2012 season, all the team members were authorized to leave with ‘relics’ as souvenirs“, comments the actual owner, who worked for Chevrolet in the WTCC. “This is how I was able to recover the Cruze champion in 2010 with Yvan. It is in its juice since it still has the scars of the season finale in Macao but it is in perfect working order. After each race, all our cars were carefully checked. It can therefore return to the circuit if its owner wants to do so”.
The most assiduous will have noticed that the Cruze bears the number 1 attributed to the world champion and not the number 6 which was his number throughout the 2010 season. “The car was displayed during a demonstration at the Donington circuit in the United Kingdom”, adds the owner “To honor our championship titles, the Cruze was therefore presented to the public with the number 1 that Yvan Muller also wore throughout the 2011 season”.
On next September 22, Yvan Muller himself will come to the DRM showroom to sign the car with which he was crowned world champion.
The 2010 Cruze WTCC also marks the end of an era since it is the last car to meet Super 2000 regulations. It is therefore equipped with a naturally aspirated 2-litre inline four-cylinder engine with a high engine speed and recognizable by its sound. From 2011, the 1.6 liter turbocharged became the standard in WTCC. Alas, these new engines did not provide the same incredible sound as the Super 2000s.
Joined February 2022
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