FIA WTCC Not Panicking Over BMW Loss

After BMW last weekend announced it will no longer provide support for a works team inside the FIA World Touring Car Championship, everybody assumed the series' bosses will desperately try to fill the gap by adding another manufacturer to the entry list. After all, losing a couple of carmakers in two years time – SEAT and BMW – doesn't make good business for any series, not only the FIA-sanctioned touring championship.

However, talking to the media after the BMW announcement, FIA WTCC boss Marcello Lotti showed little signs of desperation. The fact that BMW will go the SEAT way and continue to provide TC-spec 320sis to customer teams in future years will maintain a good level of competition within the series, believes Lotti.

Our priority was to safeguard the grid and the level of competition on track,” argued Lotti, whose series will now benefit from the likes of only two major manufacturers: Chevrolet and Volvo. While the former will continue to pump money into a multi-car effort in 2011, the Swedish company will only enter one official car for the upcoming campaign.

BMW's decision to offer to their WTCC teams a two-year upgrading package is a big boost for the championship that from 2011 welcomes Volvo in addition to the three brands already represented.”

We are pleased that BMW has borne our expectations out, granting continuity to their traditional commitment to production-based touring car racing, a category that has always been part of the company's DNA and gave a major contribution to promoting the BMW brand worldwide,” he added, according to a media statement.

BMW is still to announce the teams it will be providing cars with. Last year, when SEAT pulled off the same move, their former official team went on to continue their involvement in the FIA WTCC as an independent squad, fielding 4 Leon TDIs.
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