Only three and a half months after the end of the season, the world’s top touring car series is back for another exciting year of racing. 2011 will mark the dawn of a new era in the WTCC, as the series inaugurates a new set of technical rules and moves to 1.6 turbo engines, which have been elected as the new standard for the champions, to reflect today’s trend towards smaller, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient powerplants. This will not be the only main change in the 2011 WTCC, as it also adopts a new qualifying system by which the top ten times of Q1, in reversed order, will configure Race 2’s starting grid. After the very successful 2010 campaign, where it conquered both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ crowns, Chevrolet is ready to take up the new challenge. In parallel to its race commitments, the team has worked extremely hard throughout 2010 to design and build the new 1.6 turbo engine, something that has been achieved in less than nine months, a real record for RML’s engine department led by Arnaud Martin. The Cruze itself had to undergo a 70% redesign, as fitting the new engine, smaller in size but with increased power and torque, impacts on the engineering of many other elements, from cooling and ancillary systems to front suspension, brakes, aerodynamics and the overall weight distribution of the car.
Photo courtesy of GM