Reports linking Scottish racer Susie Stoddart with a DTM seat for 2006 have come as something of a surprise to World Series by Renault squad Comtec Racing, which understood that the 23-year old would be racing with it this year.

While admitting that Stoddart was free to take up the offer of a two-day test with the Mercedes DTM operation in Barcelona - something the team claims it would not have stood in the way of - Comtec insists that she needs to decide which direction is going to take, particularly as she has a binding contract for the World Series.

"Mercedes has apparently expressed an interest in having Susie on board, and we would never hold her back in terms of her career options," a team spokesman told, "but she is still very much part of our plans, and there is a contract that needs to be honoured.

"We appreciate that it isn't every day that a major manufacturer like Mercedes comes knocking at your door, and perhaps this will cause Susie to reflect on the direction her career will take. All we ask is that she keeps us in the picture - we do have a contract with her and that either needs to be honoured or bought out."

Stoddart, who is being linked to seat at Merc privateer Mucke Motorsport in the DTM, tested Comtec's World Series car at each of the championships' winter tests, and appeared to be the one confirmed driver for the team's maiden campaign heading into the off-season break. Jaap van Lagen, Sean McIntosh, Danilo Dirani all also tested and remain in the frame for the coming season.


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