Chevrolet has achieved great success in the WTCC (World Touring Car Championship) since it began participating in the series in 2005. Currently sitting in third place in the manufacturer standings, Chevrolet has had an exciting season with three wins from drivers Alain Menu and Robert Huff who sit in 7th and 8th position respectively after eight races. Nicola Larini, the third driver has also had a podium finish and currently lies in 11th position.
To put their achievement into perspective, 77 drivers are listed for the Championship. The team has been consistent with points scored in all but one race, the Brazilian leg of the series. In what has been a difficult season, the team has relied on their expertise and of course their touring car.
The touring car is non other than the popular Chevrolet lacetti which in production form is a medium sized executive sedan rather than an all out sports car. In South Africa the Lacetti is known as the Optra, an ultra reliable executive sedan that offers substantial luxury and comfort for the class segment. In WTCC form, the vehicle has over 200kW on tap fed to the front wheels through a six speed sequential transmission. It accelerates to 100km/h in under five seconds and goes on to reach a top speed of around 250km/h. The outrageous performance means that the large rear wing; heavy duty brakes and the rather stunning body kit are needed in order to provide the car with stability especially around the corners.
Its impressive cornering ability is just one of the reasons that this touring car is quickly becoming a proud part of Chevrolet’s racing heritage, which includes the likes of the legendary Camaro. Chevrolet expects to end the season strongly in this highly competitive championship which boasts heavyweights such as BMW, Honda, Seat and Alfa Romeo.
The WTCC is the third most prestigious motor racing championship after Formula 1 and WRC (World Rally Championship).