The FIA World Touring Car Championship grid will have an extra Chevrolet Cruze when the field next meets at Porto in less than three weeks’ time.
Pepe Oriola has announced his split with long-time backer SEAT, as the Spanish carmaker continues to deliberate over its long-term future in the series.
The 18-year-old Spaniard – who claimed his maiden WTCC win on the streets of Marrakech earlier this year – confirmed the rumour, which had been bubbling along throughout the championship’s inaugural visit to Russia last weekend.
“Today was my last race with SEAT, I just have good memories from this time. Next Race: Chevrolet Cruze,” he wrote on his Facebook account.
Oriola will still remain with the Tuenti Racing stable, with a Cruze 1.6T to be supplied by the frontrunning RML squad, which currently leads the Drivers’ Championship standings with Yvan Muller.
Oriola made his WTCC debut at the age of sixteen – becoming the youngest driver to ever compete in a top-level FIA-sanctioned event – in 2011, driving for SUNRED Engineering in a SEAT León.