SEAT to pull out of World Rally Championship

SEAT will end its involvement in the World Rally Championship at the end of this season.

SEAT to pull out of World Rally Championship

Official confirmation of the Spanish team's withdrawal came on Monday, after the decision was taken at a high-level meeting in Barcelona.

Team manager Jaime Puig confirmed that SEAT Sport would "concentrate on performance cars" and stated that the decision came from "SEAT, not SEAT Sport".

A restructured unit of the world rally team will continue to develop rally cars and give support to the teams that compete in national championships with Cordoba WRCs across Europe.

SEAT entered the highest level of the WRC with a Cordoba World Rally Car in 1998, but results have been poor. At present, the team lies sixth in the World manufacturers' championship, behind VAG stablemate Skoda.

"The know-how achieved by our team after six years in world rallying will now be transferred directly to Seat customers," said Vicente Aguilera, executive president of Seat Sport. "We will keep a strategic eye on motorsport's top disciplines, to study for an eventual world class return."

It's not yet known how the decision will affect SEAT's two drivers, Didier Auriol and Toni Gardemeister. Auriol must surely make an approach to Peugeot, but Gardemeister could be left floundering unless some internal VAG politics land him the second seat at Skoda.

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