2012 FIA European Touring Car Cup S2000 champion Fernando Monje will take part in his second ever WTCC race next weekend at Brazil, and the 19-year-old will be running with the second new 1.6 litre SEAT Sport engine at SUNRED. Team-mate Tiago Monteiro will still have to wait till he gets his.
SUNRED shipped four cars out to the Americas for the start of the fly-away rounds of the Championship; two equipped with their own engine jointly developed with Liechtenstein-based firm Lehmann engines last season, and two with the new ORECA-developed engine which is supported by SEAT Sport.
Only three of those cars have been entered for the Brazilian round of the WTCC, with Pepe Oriola and Fernando Monje competing in cars #74 and #88 with the SEAT Sport 1.6 turbo, and Tiago Monteiro in #18 with the older SUNRED engine.
The two Lukoil Racing Team drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Aleksei Dudukalo started the season with the new engine, as did Hong Kong-driver Darryl O’Young at Special Tuning Racing and 18-year-old Spaniard Pepe Oriola at SUNRED, whilst the remaining SEAT-equipped drivers have been on a waiting list.
Special Tuning Racing’s Tom Boardman only got his new engine at the last race at Portimão, the seventh round of the Championship, whilst Fernando Monje opted to sit out and wait until his new engine was available, focussing on the European Touring Car Cup where the TDI engine was a favourable option.
Tiago Monteiro therefore remains as the only León driver without the new engine at Curitiba, though his performances with the improving SUNRED engine still sees him as the third best placed SEAT driver in the drivers’ standings.