Is SEAT set to make a proper return to the WTCC?

Just two years after withdrawing its factory support from the World Touring Car Championship – having claimed back-to-back championship crowns, no less – it seems that SEAT Sport is set to return to the series as a customer supply outfit next year.

While SEAT may have withdrawn from the championship at the end of 2009, its cars have remained on the grid, run by the independent SUNRED outfit for the last two seasons.

The start of the 2011 season saw SUNRED start with the venerable SEAT 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, but the change in the sport’s regulations saw SUNRED develop its own bespoke 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, which was rebadged under its own name.

Seemingly impressed with what SUNRED has been able to achieve, SEAT is now interested in lending its support, ahead of a possible fully-fledged return in 2013.

“We are working to try to find solutions for the customers because this year is a little special,” SEAT Sport Director Jaime Puig told TouringCarTimes.

“In 2012, this León could still be competitive…having a proper engine, and also with some ideas that we have with weight distribution and everything. So for next year it could be competitive, but obviously it’s going to be customer racing (programme), it’s not going to be as much as the Chevrolet is as a factory (effort).”

Puig also revealed that SEAT is developing its own 1.6-litre turbo engine to conform with the current regulations.

[Image via AutoBlog]

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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.