Spanish sensation Pepe Oriola will become the youngest driver to ever compete in the World Touring Car Championship when he races a SEAT for SUNRED Engineering next season. He will be aged 16 years, 8 months and 11 days when he makes his WTCC debut at the Race of Brazil at Interlagos on March 20.

Oriola burst onto the scene at the end of 2009 when he finished on the podium of his very first car race in the SEAT Leon Supercopa, aged 15. He then competed in a full season of the SEAT Leon Eurocup, finishing fourth in the final standings after a double victory at the season finale at Valencia.

“This is a dream that comes true,” said Oriola. “It will be tough to be the youngest in the field, but I'll do my best to have an impact. Obviously it will be difficult to fight for the title, but I will have the opportunity to learn from the best.”

Oriola is the first driver to be confirmed at the wheel of a SEAT for 2011. SUNRED team principal Joan Orus said: “We are confident that Pepe is mature enough for delivering a great maiden season. He has the potential to provide more than a surprise.”