Rob Huff has secured a deal that will see him defend his World Touring Car Championship crown, although not with the same RML team that carried him to the title last year.

Huff was tipped to remain with the team this season, despite it losing factory backing from Chevrolet following the manufacturer's decision to end its programme.

However, in a surprise last-minute deal, the Briton has instead inked a deal that will see him drive a SEAT Leon for the ALL-LINKL.COM-backed M?nnich Motorsport team.

Huff will join forces with Marc Basseng and team owner Ren? M?nnich in a three-car team, and replaces Markus Winkelhock whomhas left the team despite being originally named as the third driver.

"It will be quite special to compete in the WTCC with the Leon and a team that carries the highest amount of professionalism," Huff, who started his touring car career driving a SEAT in the BTCC, said. "I'm delighted to join Ren? and Marc, this is an exciting newly-formed project, but the team have a huge reputation having previously won the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2012.

"I'm very thankful for the opportunity that I have been given and look forward to building on this relationship."

Team boss M?nnich was understandably pleased to be able to sign the defending champion for his team's debut season in the WTCC.

"Rob's arrival is a big boost for our ambitions," he said. "We want to be at the front of the field right from the beginning, aiming for podium results and race wins. Our goal is a top-three placing in the Drivers' Championship."

Huff will sample the Leon during a two-day test in Slovakia, which gets underway today [Wednesday].