SUNRED Engineering are set to use their new 1.6 litre turbocharged engine for the first time at the next round of the World Touring Car Championship at the Hungaroring.

The Spanish firm have been designing and developing the engine in cooperation with Volkswagen Group specialists Lehmann Motorentechnik AG. The unit is currently undergoing an extensive programme of bench tests.

There had been speculation that Gabriele Tarquini would have the new engine in his Leon in readiness for this weekend's Race of Italy at Monza, where it would have helped the team to be more competitive around the high speed circuit.

However, Tarquini and his teammates will have to continue with the TDI diesel engine before the team tests the new engine in the car for the first time next week with the goal of running it in Hungary on 5th June.

“The first results of the tests are very good in terms of both, power and reliability and our plan is to test it for the first time in the car next week,” said team prinicipal Joan Orus. “In the meantime we are working to accomplish all the homologation formalities. Should everything be properly accomplished, we hope to start using the engine from the next event in Hungary.”

The other manufacturer still to switch to a 1.6 litre turbo engine is Volvo. Polestar Racing tested their new unit for the first time at Mantorp Park in Sweden last week. They will test again after the Monza round, with the aim of racing it as soon as possible, hopefully by the Race of the Czech Republic at Brno on 19th June.

Robert Dahlgren drove the car at Mantorp Park, and said: “The first impression was very good. It looks like the engine has a great potential.”

“We expect the new engine to mark a significant step forward in terms of performance and therefore we believe it needs some further test sessions before being used in racing conditions,” said Polestar boss Christian Dahl. “This is the reason why we took the decision not to bring it to Monza. A reasonable goal is to make the switch sometimes in June.”