Russian oil giant LUKOIL seems set to switch to Lada Sport from SEAT next season, as the Russian manufacturer makes its full return to the World Touring Car Championship.
Russian website championat.com reporting from the Moscow Motor Show reports that LUKOIL and their driver Aleksei Dudukalo will move across to join James Thompson at the Lada Sport team, as the TMS Sport-run operation returns to the WTCC for their first full season since 2009.
LUKOIL already has a strong relationship with Lada in the Russian Racing Championship series (RRC) as well as the Winter Sport Championship, which Dudukalo won in a LUKOIL backed Lada Kalina during the 2011-2012 season.
LUKOIL has sponsored SEAT teams in the WTCC for the past two years, first backing two of SUNRED’s cars last year with Gabriele Tarquini and Aleksei Dudukalo driving, and the same drivers again this season as the Lukoil Racing Team, with their two cars run by SEAT Sport as part of their renewed involvement in the WTCC.
If the switch does happen, that will leave the top placed SEAT Sport squad without a title sponsor for 2013.