Monteiro, Gene to return with SEAT

Tiago Monteiro and Jordi Gene will return to the World Touring Car Championship this season in a SEAT Leon turbo diesel

Monteiro, Gene to return with SEAT

The Spanish manufacturer has withdrawn its works effort from the series, but several Leon TDis will remain with semi-works team SUNRED Engineering, which will run the cars under the SR-Sport name with factory support.

SEAT works drivers Monteiro and Gene will join their team-mate and reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini, and Dutch privateer Tom Coronel in a four-car team.

Monteiro is pleased to have confirmed his return to the series, following the exit of the works team.

"I'm really happy to be able to compete in the WTCC again and to be part of the SEAT family," said the former grand prix driver. "Apart from F1, the WTCC is the championship with the greatest level of competition.

"It's also a great pleasure to be integrated in such a unique paddock. I have learned a lot over the past few years and it's essentianl that my career continues in the WTCC.

"I will give my all to secure the best results and to improve as a driver, and as a team, at each round of the season. This is the only mentality I will be working with at each race."

SUNRED team boss Joan Orus said: "I am really enthusiastic to race the SEAT TDI cars, because I think we will be able to fight for the WTCC title with the new team SR-Sport and four great drivers.

"We will also run Michel Nykjær's cars under the SUNRED banner and altogether this is a great opportunity to show our potential and future possibilities. I want to say thank you to SEAT Sport's customer department for their support and to all drivers for placing confidence in our team."

Independent team Proteam Motorsport has confirmed that Sergio Hernandez will partner Stefano D'Aste this year. Hernandez drove for Proteam in 2007 and 2008, winning the independents' title in his second season. He graduated to the ROAL Motorsport BMW works team last year but was left without a drive when the works BMW effort reduced to two cars.

The WTCC season begins at Curitiba in Brazil on March 7.

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