Chevy Cruze
Chevrolet's best-selling nameplate takes the lead in a European race. General Motors

The Cruze, Chevrolet's most widely sold passenger car in 2010, also led the brand to the World Touring Car Championships Driver's and Manufacturers' Title in the same year.

Chevrolet's latest win in the WTCC means that the series has allowed the top-selling General Motors brand to showcase its entire product range to global markets.

After taking up the baton from the Chevrolet Lacetti in 2008, the Cruze prevailed against formidable adversaries on the racetrack. Established in 2005, the WTCC is one of three world championships sanctioned by the Paris-based Fédération Internationale d'Automobile, alongside Formula One and the World Rally Championship.

Chevrolet boasts an impressive track record in six years of competition. Apart from the World Champions crown in 2010, this included 41 race wins, 23 pole positions and 474 laps in the lead. Some 430 million viewers on five continents watched the drama of Chevrolet's onslaught in WTCC racing unfold, generating more than 100 million Euros worth of TV value, according to General Motors.

This year, Alain Menu, Yvan Muller and Rob Huff are poised to race once again. A resounding double win at the season opener in Curitiba, Brazil in April was the start of the most successful season to date. With 16 races of the 2011 season now complete Chevrolet have taken 14 wins and secured pole position at every event. This success has recently confirmed that Chevrolet's three drivers are eager to emulate the performance achieved in 2010 and have collectively scored 648 points and are well ahead of the competition.

We are looking forward to some very exciting races in Japan, China and Macau during the second part of the season after this summer break, Chevrolet's Europe motorsport manager, Eric Nève, says. The new 1.6 turbo petrol engine has delivered the expected results and we are in position to exploit our advantages to the fullest.

Even though certain technologies featuring in production cars are banned, the designs of all FIA-approved touring cars have to be close to production specifications, according to GM. The body frame of the two cars, for instance, needs to be identical. So the regular production Cruze and the WTCC variant benefit from the same proportions, wide track and stiff body structure, all of which ensure superb road holding-characteristics.

While the body-frame-integral's low weight is key to the touring car's excellent acceleration, it simplified the task of keeping the passenger vehicle's fuel consumption within strict limits. Similarly, the WTCC's front suspension of the WTCC car is based on the geometry of the road car's front axle, GM said.

A new livery which was unveiled in March ensures that on the outside the car's racing spirit is carried forward. In honor of the brand's centennial, Alain Menu's car is sporting the number 8 this season - Louis Chevrolet's lucky number. From the company's earliest beginnings, racing and motor sport have been part of Chevrolet's identity and success. Besides the WTCC, Chevrolet today participates in the BTCC, Nascar, Le Mans, ALMS and Indy 500 races.