SUNRED confirmed their line up in the 2011 WTCC. The Spain-based outfit will start the season with six SEAT León TDI cars under three different banners; the plan is to switch to 1.6L turbo engines as soon as possible.
2009 World Champion Gabriele Tarquini will team with Aleksei Dudukalo at Lukoil-SUNRED.
"I am very pleased that Lukoil gave me the opportunity to continue racing in WTCC and to have Dudukalo as team-mate. I’ll do my best to help him during his maiden season," said Tarquini.
The Russian racer declared: "The WTCC has been a dream for me over the last few years. In 2010 Tarquini’s advises helped me a lot in the SEAT Eurocup. I think that together we can become a strong force in the WTCC this year."
Tiago Monteiro and Michel Nykjær will join Pepe Oriola at SUNRED Engineering.
Monteiro: "I am happy that SEAT and our partners have put their trust on me and I am delighted to race one more year in a championship which is one of the best in the world. I want to profit from the experience I have acquired over the past few years and translate that into my best season."
Nykjær: "I’m looking forward to one more season with SUNRED. I learned a lot from them last year and I’m ready to do my best for claiming that victory I nearly had at Monza and Okayama. I have a full season of experience, so there is no doubt that I’ll be aiming for podium results."
The sixth car will be driven by Fredy Barth for the colours of SEAT Swiss Racing by SUNRED.
Team principal Joan Orús stated: "We are very happy to race six cars once again. It will be an interesting season and I am sure that all our drivers have the necessary skill to succeed. We will fight for both the WTCC Championship and the Yokohama Trophy."
Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro will lead SUNRED once again
VILLA, BENNANI AND FABIANI FORM PROTEAM’S TRIO
Proteam Racing will run three BMW cars in the 2011 WTCC for Javier Villa García, Mehdi Bennani and Fabio Fabiani.
"We will start the season with two 320 TC cars powered by the new 1.6-litre turbo engine and one 2.0-litre normally aspirated 320si for Fabiani," team principal Valmiro Presenzini explained, adding: "We are currently racing against time to finish the two new cars that will be air-freighted to Brazil."
The 23-year old Spaniard Villa is one of the most interesting additions to this year’s WTCC. He switches to touring cars after a successful career in single seaters that included victories in the GP2 championship and F1 test-driver seat at Sauber. "I feel extremely motivated while opening a new chapter of my sporting career. My goal is to build experience and fight for the Yokohama Trophy, but also to show off with the factory teams that are involved in the championship," Villa stated.
Bennani, 27 from Morocco said: "The fact that I’m joining Proteam means that I must claim good results. I am confident, because all the ingredients are there. The team is very professional, I know most of the tracks and Proteam’s BMW is among the best cars in the field."
Italian racer Fabiani completes the team after making occasional appearances in the championship during the two previous seasons.
Proteam Racing will run three BMW cars in the 2011 WTCC
EIGHT WTCC TEST SESSIONS APPROVED
Eight private test sessions for the 2011 season have been approved by the FIA Touring Car Commission.
The 30-minute private testing have been authorized to permit the teams shaking their cars down after overseas travelling or fixing the set up on those racetracks that are new to the championship or have been reincluded in the calendar after a break, like Porto.
Friday test sessions will be held at Curitiba, Zolder, Marrakech, Porto, Donington Park, Suzuka and Guangdong, while Macau’s test session as usual will take place on Thursday, with free practices and qualifying on Friday.
One additional 90-minute session on Friday morning was also approved for the season’s opener at Curitiba.
According to article 116 of the WTCC Sporting Regulations, the Commission also authorized an official test day on May 12th at Monza.