Quit while you're ahead. Sounds like a good idea, right? But how often do you actually see it happen? Most of the time, winning individuals, teams and companies drag out their glory days until the bitter end when victory seems like nothing more than a distant memory. Retiring at the top of its game, however, is exactly what SEAT is doing this year.
Volkswagen's Spanish subsidiary has dominated the World Touring Car Championship for the last two years running. After winning both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships in 2008, SEAT came back to repeat the feat, adding the Independents' Trophy to the cabinet while they were at it and completely eclipsing the competition in all three categories. However the last couple of years in the WTCC also saw heated controversy, of which SEAT found itself at the center, as race organizers tried to level the playing field between SEAT's turbo diesels and the naturally-aspirated gasoline engines used by the other teams in the series.
Although SEAT will remain to support privateer entries, including the Sunred Engineering team that took home the trophy last year, it will be shuttering its factory team. The move follows a similar reorganization of BMW's presence in the series, and takes the WTCC one step further away from its glory days as its grid dwindles to just a handful of teams.