SEAT revamps one-make series

Although SEAT Sport UK is yet to finalise details of costs, the cars are set to be offered as part of an all-in package which will give teams a ready-to-race car and a full season's entry fees. The cars cost 48,000 euros new, but are expected to be significantly cheaper to attract the necessary competitors. The regulations dictating testing and car set-up will also be relaxed, with full details of the format and regulations to be announced at Donington Park on September 25/26.

SEAT revamps one-make series

The series, which is contracted to the TOCA package until 2005 at present, is scheduled to run an expanded calendar next season, and could run at all BTCC races barring Mondello Park.

SEAT Sport UK national motorsport manager Dennis said: "We've struggled to fill grids. For whatever reason no-one wants to race in a one-make championship run under one roof. You could say that we've reacted to market forces. We could have walked away, but we didn't. We've made some changes, and we think these are the changes people want."

Although SEAT's contract with TOCA currently runs only until the end of next season, the company is eager to establish the championship in this form in the longer term.

Dennis said: "We will run it to at least 2006, and who knows what the future will be with the second- generation Leon Cupras. Maybe it could even become like the Volkswagen Racing Cup, with a number of different SEAT models competing in it."

A number of existing Cupra Championship racers have expressed their support for the change in emphasis of the category. Cupra frontrunner Gordon Shedden said: "More freedom with the set-up and preparation of the cars will make the championship a lot more appealing. It's good, as grids have not been so good this year."

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