SEAT has called time on its involvement in British motorsport, cancelling its British Touring Car Championship programme. SEAT UK announced the end of its participation in the BTCC in mid-September, at the same time canning the British Cupra one-make series. The move ends a near-continuous presence in British motorsport dating back to 1996.
The reasons were not revealed in SEAT UK’s statement. However, it said that resources would now be redirected into ”areas that continue to boost brand awareness and vehicle sales”.
SEAT ran Ibiza Evos in the British Rally Championship in 1997-99, twice finishing runner-up with Gywndaf Evans, sponsored two big rallies in 2000-01 and ran a WRC Ibiza in some events. It launched the Leon Cup in 2003 prior to its entry into the BTCC the following season and went on to win 43 BTCC races, as well as the manufacturers’ and teams’ titles, but always came up short in the drivers’ crown.
Race three at the final BTCC event of the year at Brands Hatch was SEAT’s 150th in the series. Privateer SEATs will continue in the series next year.