Tom Boardman is to move up to the World Touring Car Championship for the 2009 season after inking a deal to join SUNRED Engineering for the season ahead.

Boardman, who lifted the 2008 SEAT Leon Supercopa crown will drive a petrol-powered SEAT Leon for the team and will line up alongside Tom Coronel for his first full year in the WTCC.

The Briton has previous experience of working with the SUNRED team having run with the outfit during the event at Estoril last season after winning the SEAT Leon Eurocup round at Pau and he said he was excited about the move into the WTCC on a full-time basis.

"It all feels like a bit of a dream at the moment - I feel like the luckiest man alive," he said. "Racing in the WTCC has been my aim for some time now, and I feel my time has come to show everyone what I'm capable of.

"Tom Coronel did really well in the SUNRED Leon last year, and even won the second WTCC race in Japan outright. I think together we'll make a very strong team and be able to challenge for the Independents' titles in both the teams' and drivers' categories. I've raced at half of the circuits already and it will be fun to go to new places like Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, Japan and Macau. I can learn a new circuit very quickly. As soon as I arrive somewhere new I go for a jog around the track and that helps me learn the layout, so racing for the first time at these new tracks won't be such a disadvantage.

"I've watched the WTCC on television for several years and always dreamt of competing in it. Now I have this great opportunity, I'm going to give it one hundred per cent."