Special Tuning Racing have confirmed that they are aiming to enter the 2012 World Touring Car Championship with a two-car squad and customer works support from SEAT Sport.
Team Principal John Boardman and Technical Director Gary Robertshaw were present at last weekend's WTCC season finale in Macau, where they met SEAT Sport chief Jaime Puig and agreed a deal in principal for 2012.
This deal would see Special Tuning utilising two of their SEAT Leons, and fitting them with a new 1.6 litre turbocharged engine and gearbox package developed by SEAT Sport. The engines will therefore be different to the ones that were built and used this year by the multi-car Sunred Engineering outfit, independently of SEAT Sport. The team will also benefit from technical backup and engineering support from the Spanish manufacturer.
Special Tuning have raced in the British Touring Car Championship for the past two years, but do have some World Touring Car Championship experience. Driver Tom Boardman entered the series in 2009 with his family squad, but with a SEAT Leon entered by Sunred. They made a further appearance at the Brands Hatch round in 2010.
The team says that it still plans to run two cars in next year's BTCC in addition to its WTCC programme.
“We are very excited by the prospect of working closely with SEAT Sport as a customer 'works' team,” said John Boardman. “This will take our involvement with running SEAT touring cars to the next level.
“We have over eight years' experience racing the Leon in the WTCC, BTCC and SEAT single make series. This support from SEAT should make us even more competitive in next season's championship. We look forward to making our experience produce front running pace in the WTCC.”
Robertshaw added that the team is working on finalising its driver lineup. “We are currently looking at a number of options with drivers who wish to compete in a proven race winning car with manufacturer support and technical input,” he said.
“We feel that running just two cars with our own technical expertise, and that of SEAT Sport, we can provide the attention to detail to be a front running team in the WTCC. We have nothing firmed up at the moment but this is a great opportunity for the right driver.”