The World Touring Car Championship has unveiled its full entry list for the 2010 season.
Despite the losses of several entries, team bosses are remaining upbeat in the wake of the effects of the global financial crisis that forced many entrants to curb spending.
The factory SEAT team made a well-publicised withdrawal, BMW scaled its five-car operation down to a two-car team, and Lada has also unexpectedly pulled out.
Bolstering the grid is SUNRED Engineering, which will run five SEAT Leon TDIs – four under the SR Sport banner with SEAT factory support.
"We are proud that we managed to maintain a high quality field in this challenging economic environment," series promoter Marcello Lotti has said. "Most of our regular drivers and teams are still with us, which guarantees continuity in the growth of the championship’s popularity.
"We are grateful to BMW and Chevrolet, who renewed their trust in the championship confirming their factory programmes. And we also thank SEAT because, although no longer competing with an official team, the brand made a big effort to guarantee a strong representation of customer teams that will be provided by SEAT Sport with the necessary technical support.
“It is very rewarding for us to see young drivers and teams joining the championship. The new entries from Bamboo-Engineering and Zengö-Dension Team, the arrival of promising youngsters like Michelisz and Vaulkhard and the full commitment of drivers coming from new regions – Bennani from Morocco and O’Young from China – are testament to the WTCC’s worldwide reputation.”
When quizzed about Lada’s unexpected pull-out, Lotti simply had this to say: “We were surprised and disappointed, because in 2009 they undertook a commitment for a three-year programme. This is now a matter for the FIA to deal with.”
The full entry list is as follows:
|1.||Gabriele Tarquini||SR Sport||SEAT León 2.0 TDI|
|2.||Tom Coronel||SR Sport||SEAT León 2.0 TDI|
|3.||Tiago Monteiro||SR Sport||SEAT León 2.0 TDI|
|4.||Jordi Gené||SR Sport||SEAT León 2.0 TDI|
|5.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengö-Dension Team||SEAT León 2.0 TDI|
|6.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet||Chevrolet Cruze LT|
|7.||Robert Huff||RML Chevrolet||Chevrolet Cruze LT|
|8.||Alain Menu||RML Chevrolet||Chevrolet Cruze LT|
|10.||Augusto Farfus||BMW Team RBM||BMW 320si|
|11.||Andy Priaulx||BMW Team RBM||BMW 320si|
|15.||Franz Engstler||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||BMW 320si|
|16.||Andrei Romanov||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||BMW 320si|
|17.||Michel Nykjær||SUNRED Engineering||SEAT León 2.0 TDI|
|18.||Fredy Barth||SUNRED Engineering||SEAT León 2.0 TDI|
|19.||Harry Vaulkhard||Bamboo Engineering||Chevrolet Lacetti|
|20.||Darryl O’Young||Bamboo Engineering||Chevrolet Lacetti|
|21.||Mehdi Bennani||Wiechers-Sport||BMW 320si|
|23.||Marin Čolak||Čolak Racing Team||SEAT León 2.0 TFSI|
|24.||Kristian Poulsen||Poulsen Motorsport||BMW 320si|
|25.||Sergio Hernández||Scuderia Proteam||BMW 320si|
|26.||Stefano D’Aste||Scuderia Proteam||BMW 320si|
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