LUKOIL to Sponsor Two WTCC Teams for 2013 Season

By Community | March 14, 2013

Russian Oil company, doctor LUKOIL has revealed it will sponsor both RML and Lada in this year’s World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).

The Russian firm will back Yvan Muller’s title challenge at RML, shop as well as title sponsorship of the LADA Sport LUKOIL racing team.

After two years in the WTCC with SEAT, sale LUKOIL now splits its support across two teams. With Yvan Muller at RML, LUKOIL will guarantee its name will be at the front of the grid as the three-time champion fights for a fourth title in the WTCC, whilst LUKOIL will also support the home-grown Lada team as the Russian manufacturer makes its return to the Championship – fielding two Granta Sport WTCCs for two-time BTCC champion James Thompson and three-time Russian Winter Track Series champion Aleksei Dudukalo.

“Every year we try to improve our positions,” said Evgeniy Malinovskiy, Lukoil Racing Director. “Having started in WTCC with a private team, we signed contract for technical support with SEAT Sport, extended our partnership with Gabriele Tarquini and won title for the independent teams in 2012. Our next important step – participation as manufacturer team, a joint effort with our Russian partner – AVTOVAZ.

“Supporting Yvan Muller will reignite title intrigue in WTCC and guarantee a solid approach towards title aspirations.”

Also joining the LUKOIL family this year will be Yvan Muller. The Frenchman was left without a drive after Chevrolet announced its withdrawal from the Championship in July of last year. Whilst team-mates Rob Huff and Alain Menu have found drives at Münnich Motorsport in the WTCC and FACH Auto Tech in the Porsche Supercup respectively, Muller will join with LUKOIL and remain in the title-winning Chevrolet Cruze this season at RML, and is expected to be the chief foil for Honda as the Japanese marque joins the Championship in the hunt for the title.

“After a long winter, I’m especially eager to start new season,” said Muller. “As LUKOIL support our team, we have a beautiful opportunity for LUKOIL and me to fight for the world champion title, even if competition will be difficult. This year, there are a lot of fast drivers and good teams in WTCC. Honda with their official program are favourites. We will be focused at 100% to be the first.”