Reigning champion Yvan Muller will again have Jordi Gené, Tiago Monteiro, Rickard Rydell and Gabriele Tarquini as teammates for 2009. The team will hopefully try to make it two in a row for the Spanish manufacturer. However, with the new changes introduced by the FIA for 2009 – including the reduction of turbo pressure – they are to face much tougher competition from rivals BMW as compared to last year.
“Competition is very important to our brand and I am very proud of the successes achieved by our team. I would like to thank Jaime Puig and all of the drivers because the magnificent teamwork they performed last year was the key to our success. I am pleased to announce that SEAT will defend the world championship titles with the same team and the same drivers,” announced SEAT president Erich Schmitt in a press conference, at Barcelona.
SEAT scored no less than 11 wins last season thanks to its works team – out of 24 races on schedule – while Tom Coronel also clinched a victory of its own in Japan, for SUNRED team, also on a SEAT Leon. Therefore, the Spanish manufacturer managed to score wins with both diesel- and petrol-powered cars, a first in the series.
Coronel was also announced as official race driver for SUNRED team for the second year running. It will be the Dutch driver's 5th consecutive season driving a SEAT, since his first WTCC drive with GR Asia in 2005.