Colin Turkington returns to the WTCC and will be racing at Shanghai in a Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T run by the West Surrey Racing under the banner of Team Aviva-Cofco.
The Ulsterman, a former champion in the British Touring Car Championship, has become a quite familiar face in the WTCC paddock. He joined the world championship every now and then in 2007, 2010 and 2011, claiming some brilliant results: one victory at Okayama in 2010 and four other podium results, including one second place in last year’s Race of China at Tianma.
This year Turkington comes at the wheel of a Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T, a sister car of those run by the factory team. Which is something new for him who used to drive BMW cars since 2007. However, he also delivered strong performance in front-wheel drive machines in his first touring car years, when he won six BTCC rounds driving for MG and Vauxhall.
“It’s great to be back in the WTCC and I’m really excited to be driving at Shanghai’s F1 circuit. I haven’t raced since the WTCC event at Tianma last year, so it will probably take a while to get the rust out of the system. It’s also the first time I drive the Chevrolet Cruze. The last time I drove a front wheel drive touring car was for in 2006, so that’s another steep learning curve!” Turkington said.
Team Principal, Dick Bennetts added: “We’re really pleased to be back in the WTCC with the support of Aviva. It’s going to be a tough challenge for Colin and the team to learn a new car and a new track, but we’re all looking forward to it. We’ve obtained the car from RML and they have bent over backwards to help us get everything to Shanghai in time, so we can’t thank them enough.”
Simon Machell, Chief Executive of Aviva Higher Growth Markets, said: “The WTCC Race of China is a prestigious motorsport event that demonstrates Aviva’s strategy of operating a successful business in a competitive environment through focus, strength and performance. We will be inviting over 60 VIPs to Shanghai and look forward to treating them to a unique experience.”