The Munnich Motorsport team has committed to entering two Chevrolet Cruzes in the forthcoming World Touring Car Championship.
Team principal Rene Munnich will be joined by former grand prix driver Gianni Morbidelli in the RML-built cars, which will run to the new for 2014 TC1 regulations.
Morbidelli returns to the WTCC eight years after his last involvement in the championship with Alfa Romeo.
"I received a last minute offer to buy them, and could not [turn down] the opportunity," explained Munnich, whose team campaigned three SEAT Leons during its maiden WTCC programme last year.
The team's highpoints were achieved courtesy of Lada's recent signing Rob Huff, who scored two victories for the outfit at the Hungaroring and Macau (pictured below).
"We are eager to benefit from our experience," Munnich added. "We won last year and are very much looking forward to the new season.
"For me it is only the second year in WTCC and circuit racing. Last year, everything was new to me, not only the tracks, but the art of driving as well.
"I hope I will be able to handle the Chevrolet quite well. I think top-10 results should be my goal this season."
CHEVROLET BUILD ON TRACK
RML's director of motorsport Ron Hartvelt told AUTOSPORT that the build process of the cars was going to plan, although there were concerns that they will have to be homologated without having turned a wheel.
"Things are actually going quite well," said Hartvelt.
"We have had the FIA with us yesterday and again today. That is great, as the timescale of the project was so incredibly tight.
"For the homologation you need to have a car assembled, and we do have one fully completed, but we're a little way off start-ups or those sorts of things.
"Doing the homologation prior to even turning a wheel before is new even to us.
"It is not ideal, but at the same time we took a very conscious decision to factor in as much time as possible for the design, to utilise the design time left once we had started up the project, in order to make sure we put forward the best possible product on the table.
"You can design laptime into the car, while finding laptime in set-up is limited to an extent. I still think it was the right decision, but there a couple of associated risks with that."
RML will push to send two cars to the Valencia test on March 20-22, but much will depend on how the build process proceeds. Rival Lada is already set to drop out of the test.
"[Our presence there] is subject to how we are getting on in the next 10 days or so," Hartvelt confirmed. "It depends a bit on what is thrown at us."
2014 WTCC line-up so far: Team Car Driver(s) Honda (JAS) Honda Civic WTCC Gabriele Tarquini/Tiago Monteiro Citroen Citroen C-Elysee S Loeb/Y Muller/JM Lopez Lada (SMP) Lada Granta R Huff/J Thompson/M Kozlovskiy Zengo Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC Norbert Michelisz Proteam Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC Mehdi Bennani ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze Tom Coronel/Tom Chilton Campos Chevrolet Cruze H Valente/D Borkovic Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze G Morbidelli/Rene Munnich Onyx tba tba
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