Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini will not use SUNRED's new 1.6 litre turbo engine in their Leons at the World Touring Car Championship Race of Hungary this weekend.
The team have been busy testing the new unit since the last round at Monza, and although it will deliver a step up in performance there are concerns over its reliability.
As a result, Monteiro and Tarquini's chances to score points at the Hungaroring will not be risked, with the team's remaining drivers instead set to run the unit during the race weekend as the team continues its development work.
“We have already driven the new car and we know that its engine is more powerful, but its reliability is not yet ideal,” says Monteiro. “Therefore, we think that for reliability reasons and so as not to jeopardize the good results we have been obtaining so far with the Leon TDI, it’s better to rely on it once again in Budapest. The other SUNRED drivers will be tasked with driving cars equipped with the new turbo engine.”
Unlike many of his rivals, Monteiro has previous knowledge of the Hungaroring from his days as a Formula 1 driver. “It’s always very interesting to add new circuits to the calendar,” he said. “We have no references on this circuit and we will have to start from a clean slate.
“It is a demanding, technical track. Since we don’t have data on car handling there, it is difficult to make predictions. With our engine, our ambitions will be the same as in the first races: we have to score as many points as possible in both championships. Anything on top of that will be icing on the cake.”