Proteam Racing to miss their first WTCC race in Hungary

Proteam Racing will be absent from the FIA World Touring Car Championship grid for the first time in the WTCC’s history this weekend, following driver Dusan Borkovic’s switch to the FIA European Touring Car Cup, leaving the team without a driver or the budget to compete.

The Italian team has competed in every race since the new WTCC era began in 2005, winning the independents’ trophy in 2008 and 2010 with Sergio Hernandez while fielding the BMW 320si E90.

The team switched to the Honda Civic WTCC last season with Mehdi Bennani driving for the team, and took their first overall race victory in Shanghai. Bennani departed the team to join Sébastien Loeb Racing this year in the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC, with the team signing Dusan Borkovic for his sophomore WTCC season, after the Serbian drove for Campos Racing last year.

However, complaints about the seating position in the Honda Civic WTCC, which was causing the 6ft9 driver discomfort, as well as dissatisfaction over the parts package with which Proteam compete, led to Borkovic’s management and sponsors calling time on his WTCC campaign shortly before the first race in Marrakech two weeks’ ago.

Borkovic will compete with the Hungarian B3 Racing team in the FIA European Touring Car Cup for the remainder of the season under the NIS Petrol Racing banner, while Proteam Racing have confirmed they plan to legal action against their former driver for breach of contract.

Nevertheless, the outcome at the Hungaroring will be that the Italian squad will not be taking part this weekend for the first time in the WTCC, with the team’s car and trailers not present at the track, and have indicated it’s unlikely they’ll be able to return this season.