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SEAT to quit series at end of 2008

SEAT have decided to withdraw from the British Touring Car Championship at the end of the season

The Spanish manufacturer says the budget allocated for race activities in UK will now be spent on 'enhancing SEAT's sporty and stylish image through other marketing activities.'

Scott Dennis, boss of SEAT Sport UK, said: "There's no doubting that SEAT and SEAT Sport UK have made a huge impact on the BTCC during our five seasons.

"Our roll call of drivers, Rob Huff, James Thompson, Luke Hines, James Pickford and Tom Coronel, as well as current duo Darren Turner and Jason Plato, have helped secure the 2006 Manufacturers' Trophy, the 2007 Teams' Trophy, as well as the first ever win for a diesel car in the 50-year history of the Championship with this year's Leon TDI.

"Of course, the SEAT Sport UK team has been essential in securing these successes, and I'd like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed. In particular I'd like to thank Grant Clearwater and Ian Fisher (of Northern South Limited - who run the Leon TDIs) for their unwavering professionalism throughout our relationship with them.

"I'd also like to thank Jason and Darren for their commitment to SEAT Sport UK. Jason in particular has been a consistent strength of the team from our first season in 2004, as well as a front runner in both this and last year's season. Like all of the other SEAT BTCC drivers, he and Darren have also been great brand ambassadors."

Since joining the BTCC in 2004, SEAT have racked up 43 wins so far, leaving them equal with Jaguar as the sixth most successful marque in series history. Plato has finished as runner-up in the championship for the past two seasons, last year only losing out to Fabrizio Giovanardi in the race for the title at the final round.

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