Indeed SEAT Sport will not be listed as a team in the 2010 FIA WTCC series, but the Spanish carmaker will continue to support several cars fielded by SUNRED this season. Tiago Monteiro and Jordi Gene will be the ones driving a SEAT Leon turbo diesel each through the duration of this season, as they will join reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini and Dutch privateer Tom Coronel in the team's lineup for 2010.
The semi-works outfit will run the TDIs under the SR-Sport name.
“I am really enthusiastic to race the SEAT TDI cars, because I think we will be able to fight for the WTCC title with the new team SR-Sport and four great drivers. (...) I want to say thank you to SEAT Sport's customer department for their support and to all drivers for placing confidence in our team,” said SUNRED team boss Joan Orus.
Orus also revealed that SUNRED will not limit their efforts to the works-supported Leons only, but will also field Michel Nykjær in a private Seat Leon TDI of his own.
As far as Monteiro is concerned, the Portuguese driver admitted his enthusiasm over the news.
“I'm really happy to be able to compete in the WTCC again and to be part of the SEAT family. Apart from F1, the WTCC is the championship with the greatest level of competition. I will give my all to secure the best results and to improve as a driver, and as a team, at each round of the season. This is the only mentality I will be working with at each race,” said Monteiro.
47-year old Tarquini was also delighted with SEAT's decision, while pleased that he'll get to defend his title in 2010 on board of a competitive car.
“I am really pleased that I was given the opportunity to stay in the championship. I had received offers for other series, but my ambition was to defend the title. This is the first time in my career that I can sport the number one of the world champion and I did not want to miss it,” added Tarquini.