Rickard Rydell - Photo Credit: nikaracing.se

Rydell and his team have recently been testing at Valencia with the factory Chevrolet squad - Photo Credit: nikaracing.se

Reigning Scandinavian Touring Car Champion Rickard Rydell will make his return to the World Touring Car Championship with Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden at the season opener at Monza.

44-year-old Swede Rydell last contested a WTCC round at the end of 2009. It won't be his first WTCC race in a Chevrolet, having won on a one-off entry on home soil at Anderstorp in 2007. The Nika Racing-run Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden squad have one previous WTCC entry under their belt, also at Monza in 2010 with Argentina's Leonel Pernia. They have also run additional cars for the factory Chevrolet team on other occasions in recent seasons.

“It will be fun to get back to the WTCC, and to do it with a Swedish team,” said Rydell. “Monza is a track that is unlike any we have competed on in the STCC, with its long straights and hard braking. It is one of the fastest courses in the world, and it will be really fun to go there along with Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden. Our goal is to defend the STCC title from last year, and WTCC premiere gives us the chance to best get into the swing of the season.”

Team manager Nicklas Karlsson added: “The WTCC race at Monza will be a big challenge, but we feel well prepared and see this as the perfect dress rehearsal for the coming STCC season. Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden has developed into a more positive direction in recent years, and this is another step in the right direction. Thanks to the platform as STCC has offered, we have been able to shape a team that is better prepared today than at any of our previous appearances in the WTCC, and are now ready to test ourselves against the best in the world.”

Jonas Ahnve, Chevrolet Sweden Managing Director commented: “Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden continues to present exciting news, and the step into the world championship seems quite logical in light of last year’s STCC title. Although the current situation is just about one race, it will be fascinating to follow the team this weekend at Monza – especially with the already previously established driver Rickard Rydell behind the wheel. WTCC is a championship that has recently been dominated by Chevrolet, which has strengthened the brand internationally. We look forward to taking part in it.”