Proteam Motorsport has announced that Stefano D'Aste will return for a fourth World Touring Car Championship season with the team in 2009.

D'Aste, who drove for the Italian outfit in 2005, 2006 and 2008, finished third in the Independents' Trophy standings last season having missed out on second during the final weekend of the year at Macau.

That came after D'Aste elected to miss the weekend in protest at what he felt were unfair penalties handed out following the Yokohama race weekend, where he was forced to retire from the second race after an incident involving the SEAT of Tiago Monteiro.

"I have a great consideration of Stefano and I kind of consider him as our driver," Team principal Valmiro Presenzini said. "It did not take long to renew our agreement for next season, and now we are evaluating a number of candidates to choose his team-mate.

"It won't be easy to repeat our success next year. However we are still aiming for the top and we'll enter a strong formation as usual."

Proteam took the Indy title this season with Sergio Hernandez.