SEAT Sport Confirms Lineup for 2009

If it works, why change it? That seems to be the logic behind SEAT Sport's latest announcement, confirming that their last year's driver lineup in the FIA World Touring Car Championship will remain unchanged for the 2009 campaign. That means SEAT will again field 5 diesel-powered Leons in the WTCC for the second year running.

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.
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