LONDON (Reuters) – SEAT will still be a strong presence in the World Touring Cars Championship (WTCC) this season despite announcing their departure as a works team, BMW’s former world champion Andy Priaulx said on Friday.
SEAT said on Wednesday they were withdrawing to focus on other series. However privately-entered SEAT cars were expected to continue.
“I hear that (Italy’s reigning champion Gabriele) Tarquini might be coming back with a SEAT diesel,” Briton Priaulx told the Autosport International show in Birmingham, England.
“That would be a semi-works effort with the same diesel engine and it’s going to be the same (as 2009) again.”
SEAT’s turbo-diesel cars have won the last two WTCC titles with France’s Yvan Muller and Tarquini pitted against normally-aspirated petrol-engined rivals.
“It is a shame to lose a manufacturer, but unfortunately, the way the championship has been in the last two or three years with diesel power against petrol, it has caused a lot of problems,” said Priaulx.
BMW and SEAT were at loggerheads last year over turbo boost pressure limits.
Image: REUTERS/Jean Blondin
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