This weekend’s World Touring Car Championship Race of Spain will now see three different engine configurations for the SEAT runners, with SUNRED Engineering and sister squad Tuenti Racing electing to switch back to the turbocharged engines it ran last year.
The outfit ran one of SEAT Sport’s new 1.6-litre turbocharged engines for Pepe Oriola along with 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines for Tiago Monteiro and Andrea Barlesi at the season-opening Race of Italy at Monza. The reason for this was due to SEAT Sport being unable to supply its new engines to all of its runners.
This weekend, Monteiro and Barlesi – along with WTCC debutant Fernando Monje – will run SUNRED’s own engine unit, which was developed for use last season by Lehmann Engineering and officially homologated as a SUNRED engine due to SEAT not offering factory support at the time. SUNRED phased the engines into use over the course of the 2011 season, replacing the venerable TDi engines that had been used for several seasons beforehand.
The late-notice change also means that Monteiro, Barlesi and Monje will run with an additional 20kg ballast penalty under the championship rules, tipping their cars’ base weight at 1,170kg.
It is understood that the switch to SUNRED’s old engines is a temporary one until SEAT can supply enough turbocharged engines for all of its competitors. The SEAT turbo engine will be in four cars at its home race, with Monza pole-sitter Gabriele Tarquini getting the new unit, along with his Lukoil Racing team-mate Aleksei Dudukalo. Special Tune Racing driver Darrl O’Young will also run the new engine again, along with Oriola, as we had already mentioned.
The change means that WTCC returnee Tom Boardman (Special Tune Racing) will be the only driver using the TDi engine this weekend – he was forced to miss the Monza season-opener due to the engine shortage issues.
The Race of Spain entry list now reads as follows:
* Denotes Yokohama Independent Trophy competitor. Entry list is subject to final FIA confirmation.
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