SEAT’s representative team in the British Touring Car Championship, Special Tune Racing, has announced that it plans to enter the 2012 World Touring Car Championship season, becoming the first outfit to front the carmaker’s recently-announced plan to return to the series.
The team – which has contested the BTCC for the last two years – will run a pair of SEAT Leóns powered by SEAT Sport’s recently-announced 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, which it is looking to homologate for next season.
Team Principal John Boardman – father to former WTCC pilot Tom – and the team’s technical director Gary Robertshaw were spotted at the season-ending Race of Macau last weekend, where one of their cars was entered by SUNRED for local driver André Couto, who qualified a promising seventh-fastest in his sole appearance of the season.
“We are very excited by the prospect of working closely with SEAT Sport as a customer ‘works’ team,” Boardman has said of the announcement.
Special Tune Racing ran and developed a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine for use in this year’s BTCC season, coincidentally teaming up with the Lehmann group, the same company that developed the 1.6-litre turbo unit used by SUNRED in the WTCC.
SUNRED, meanwhile, is yet to confirm if it will team up with SEAT Sport next year, or continue to go it alone with their own bespoke engines fitted to the León chassis.
There is no word as yet on the makeup of the team’s WTCC driver line-up for the 2012 season, although it is not unreasonable to expect that Tom Boardman would be one of the drivers.
[Images via LAT]