Tom Boardman will join the WTCC grid at next weekend’s race at Valencia, but instead of running the new SEAT 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine, the 28-year-old will be running the older 2.0 litre TDI unit.
Special Tuning Racing’s plan to field two brand new SEAT León WTCCs at the season opener at Monza was scuppered due to a supply issue with parts for the second engine which was due to be run by Boardman, which meant the team were only able to field one car for Darryl O’Young at the first round of the season.
There was further trouble for the team at the weekend, with Darryl O’Young experiencing an engine failure on his first lap during qualifying, with a new engine fitted before the Sunday morning warm-up also failing and causing severe damage to the car, forcing both of the team’s drivers to miss the races.
Problems for Lukoil Racing Team’s Aleksei Dudukalo and SUNRED Engineering’s Pepe Oriola in race two saw SEAT request to change the engines in all four of the new cars ahead of the Spanish manufacturer’s home race on April 1st.
With additional engines not yet available for Tom Boardman at Special Tuning Racing, and Tiago Monteiro and Andrea Barlesi also waiting for the new SEAT engine at SUNRED, all three will be running with the older SEAT 2.0 TDI engine at Valencia.
Fernando Monje also joins the WTCC grid at Valencia, fresh from a pair of victories in the European Touring Car Cup at Monza, which supported the WTCC meeting. Monje will be racing the same TDI powered car he raced in the ETCC, bringing the total number of SEATs on the grid to eight, four 1.6 litre turbo-petrol and four 2.0 litre turbo-diesel.