Chris James is to step up to the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) is 2011, piloting a Chevrolet Lacetti under his own Team ES Racing banner.
James follows in the uncertain footsteps of Martin Depper and Arthur Forster in joining the BTCC from the Mini Challenge. Despite missing the opening triple header round of that championship's 2010 season James finished twelfth overall and fourth in the points of the S class, with one class win among a total of ten podium finishes. The Mini Challenge website also lists past experience racing in Fiats.
His 2011 charge is believed to hark from racing in Scandinavia, rather than be one of the cars RML ran up until 2009 in World and British Touring Cars. RML, however, are expected to provide engine support for the S2000 spec unit.
Since then Bamboo Engineering (who are also reported to be BTCC entrants again this year) have been the highest profile exponents of the Lacetti after RML switched to the newer Chevrolet Cruze in 2010.
Robertshaw Racing gave the Lacetti its BTCC debut in 2008 before RML entered in 2009, scoring 11 wins with the car, making it the most successful car that season.