The World Touring Car Championship has released the entry list for the 2011 season, with series promoter Marcello Lotti stating he is pleased with the twenty-two car field.
Of these entries, twenty-one are regular entries for the season, with the addition of a fourth Chevrolet for Brazilian Carlos “Caca” Bueno for his home event – the opening round of the season at Curitiba on 20th March. It is already known that the BMWs of Zengo-Dension and Wiechers-Sport will not be present in Curitiba.
The withdrawal of BMW has left Chevrolet as the only fully-fledged manufacturer entry for the 2011 season, but despite this four different brands are represented on the entry list.
In addition to the four factory Chevrolets there are two Lacetti models from bamboo-engineering, who are believed to be switching to a Cruze powered by the 1.6 litre engine from the European rounds. BMW's pledged support of customer teams means they will be represented by eight independent drivers behind the wheel of BMW 320 TCs as well as one BMW 320si for third Proteam driver Fabio Fabiani. SUNRED again enters six SEAT Leon TDIs, while Polestar Volvo are set to begin their first full season in the world championship with one C30 for Robert Dahlgren.
Lotti believes that the grid is a strong one considering the current lack of investment from manufacturers and sponsors. “We are satisfied because we retain a solid twenty-one car grid in spite of the recession that keeps on affecting motorsport activities worldwide,” said Lotti. “This makes us trustful in the near future, especially when we look at the first full season participation of Polestar Racing with a Volvo car. It is also very rewarding to see that all the represented manufacturers are investing on the new 1.6-litre turbo engine. And this will enable all the teams to switch to the new engines sometimes during this season.”
He added that things are looking good for future seasons as well. “I want to say that we have signed two-year agreements with most of the teams, which provides already a solid basis of twenty cars again for 2012; a minimum guaranteed that we are trying to enhance further through the negotiations currently ongoing with other manufacturers.”
2011 World Touring Car Championship Entry List:
#1 Yvan Muller – Chevrolet – Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
#2 Rob Huff – Chevrolet – Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
#3 Gabriele Tarquini – Lukoil-SUNRED – SEAT LeÃ³n 2.0 TDI
#4 Aleksei Dudukalo – Lukoil-SUNRED – SEAT LeÃ³n 2.0 TDI
#5 Norbert Michelisz – ZengÃ¶-Dension Team – BMW 320TC
#6 Carlos Bueno – Chevrolet – Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
#7 Fredy Barth – SEAT Swiss Racing by SUNRED – SEAT LÃ©on 2.0 TDI
#8 Alain Menu – Chevrolet – Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T
#9 Darryl O’Young – bamboo-engineering – Chevrolet Lacetti
#10 Yukinori Taniguchi – bamboo-engineering – Chevrolet Lacetti
#11 Kristian Poulsen – Liqui Moly Team Engstler – BMW 320 TC
#12 Franz Engstler – Liqui Moly Team Engstler – BMW 320 TC
#14 Marchy Lee Ying Kin – Deteam KK Motorsport – BMW 320 TC
#15 Tom Coronel – ROAL Motorsport – BMW 320 TC
#17 Michel NykjÃ¦r – SUNRED – SEAT LeÃ³n 2.0 TDI
#18 Tiago Monterio – SUNRED – SEAT LeÃ³n 2.0 TDI
#20 Javier Villa GarcÃa – Proteam Racing – BMW 320 TC
#21 Fabio Fabiani – Proteam Racing – BMW 320si
#25 Mehdi Bennani – Proteam Racing – BMW 320 TC
#30 Robert Dahlgren – Polestar Volvo – Volvo C30
#35 Urs Sonderegger – Wiechers-Sport – BMW 320 TC
#74 Pepe Oriola – SUNRED – SEAT LeÃ³n 2.0 TDI