Gabriele Tarquini sticks with SEAT for 2012 World Touring Car Championship
|Wednesday, January 18th 2012, 09:44 GMT|
Former World Touring Car champion Gabriele Tarquini will drive a SEAT under the Lukoil Racing banner again in 2012.
The 49-year-old Italian will again be partnered with Russian driver Alexey Dudukalo, who Tarquini is mentoring as part of the Lukoil programme. Dudukalo took a pair of ninth places in his maiden WTCC season last year, while 2009 title-winner Tarquini was fifth in the '11 standings and was the only SEAT driver to win a race.
"I'm very happy because Lukoil confirmed me as one of their drivers, and I'm also proud because they appointed me to raise the next generation of Russia's racers," said Tarquni. "Now I'm eagerly looking forward to the new season."
SEAT will introduce a new 1.6-litre turbo engine for 2012, which Tarquini hopes will make the Leons capable of challenging the dominant Chevrolets again despite not having factory support.
"We will race again with the old Leon, but I expect a lot from the new SEAT engine," he said. "I believe we will be a much stronger package than last year, and in the position to fight with Chevrolet."