Chris Stockton has revealed that BTC Racing could elect to switch to SEAT Leons for the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season – although any decision to switch cars would be dependent on funding.
The team started 2008 running a brace of Lexus IS200s, but switched to the ex-Motorbase SEAT Toledos ahead of the Donington Park round in an attempt to improve fortunes after a difficult run of luck whilst running the rear-wheel drive Lexus.
Unfortunately the remainder of the season turned out to be a difficult one with Stuart Oliver leaving the team and Stockton being forced to run alone for a number of the remaining races, with the team's bad luck continuing on Finals Day at Brands Hatch.
There, a mystery fuel pressure problem, forced Stockton out of the opening race of the weekend and meant he was unable to start races two and three which he admitted hadn't been the ideal way to end the year.
"Frustrating, really frustrating," he told Crash.net
. "We are stunned to be honest with you and can't believe how it has gone. Brands Hatch is one of our favourite tracks and to have to sit and watch was painful. We still haven't solved the problem and spent all day on the car. Six guys have had the fuel tank out, three different fuel pumps in and all the fuel lines out – the whole lot; but we still can't get the pressure.
"On one lap we would have the speed and then on the next we wouldn't, it was just intermittent and you can't run the car like that. It will run lean and it will be game over for engine, which aren't the cheapest things to buy."
Despite that luck, Stockton added that he still feels the Toledo is capable of doing a job for the team in 2009 although he also admitted that discussions had taken place with SEAT in Spain about the availability of Leons for the new season.
"It's been a tough year for us, but the car is a good car," he continued. "We did a 50.5secs in it in practice with fuel pressure problems and race pace was a 50secs, so we aren't far away; we just haven't been able to show it. At Silverstone in the wet we were in the mix but Rob Collard spun and I hit him, and it was game over. It's just the way it's gone for us this season. We are broad shouldered but we are pretty hacked off by it all – who wouldn't be.
"We believe the Toledo is still a competitive car. We know it isn't a race winner but we feel is it capable of running in the top dozen. It's so close now in terms of the times, and while the Toledo is an older car it can do the job. But we have been over to Spain to speak to SEAT about Leons and that might be on the cards. It's all about money, money, money – so if anyone has some spare, give us a call!"