Alexey Dudukalo is graduating to the WTCC with SUNRED Gabriele Tarquini

The backing of Russian oil company Lukoil – the country’s largest oil producer – has been enough to ensure that Russian touring car driver Alexey Dudukalo will join the veteran touring car champion Gabriele Tarquini at SUNRED Engineering SEAT for the 2011 World Touring Car Championship season.

“We are going to be a strong team in the WTCC with the support of Lukoil. It is nice to have Tarquini and Dudukalo in the team," said SUNRED team boss Joan Orus.

Dudukalo, 35, graduates from the SEAT León Eurocup after two seasons in the WTCC’s feeder series. He finished sixth overall last season, with one victory and one second-placed finish, driving for the SUNRED team.

“I am pleased to be in the WTCC, it has been a dream for me over the last few years. I know Gabriele from last year, he helped me a lot in the Eurocup. I think that we together can become a strong force against our competitors in the WTCC this year,” Dudukalo said.

The announcement is also good news for Tarquini, who will be looking forward to what he hopes will be another competitive season in the World Touring Car Championship.

[Original images via Flickr]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.