The World Touring Car Championship has revealed that eight full-season competitors have been granted an entry into the Independents' Trophy for the 2009 season.
In a change from the past, previous champions will now be eligible for the title again meaning SUNRED Engineering racer Tom Coronel and Wiechers-Sport Stefano D'Aste will be able to fight for the crown.
Coronel was unable to defend his title after winning the Indy crown back in 2006 while D'Aste was only permitted to enter the Independents' Trophy last year with a points penalty applied. Former works BMW driver Felix Porteiro will also be eligible for the Independents' Trophy after his switch to Proteam Motorsport for the new season.
Tom Boardman, George Tanev, Franz Engstler, Kristian Poulsen and Marin Colak complete the full-season Independent runners with the three LADA drivers now no longer eligible after securing backing from the Russian manufacturer for the season ahead.
The WTCC has also confirmed that previously announced changes to the points system which will see bonus point handed out to the Independent pole sitter and the driver posting the quickest lap in each race.
Independent drivers finishing inside the top eight overall will also benefit from three extra points for each overall point scored – meaning an eighth place finish would be work three Independent Trophy points. Double points will once again be awarded for the season finale in Macau.