In only its second WTCC race, the diesel-engined Seat Leon TDI came in first -- in front of its gas-powered Leon sibling. The diesel car only entered the series in July, yet it won three races and the driver was in championship contention up until the final race. BMW didn't need any more impetus than that to start planning its own turbocharged diesel engine program for the race series.

Surprisingly, though, BMW's head of motorsport, Mario Thiessen, doesn't think diesel is the way to go, citing the time it takes to really develop an engine and sort it out. But what's really at issue for him is the lack of clear parity in the WTCC, with different chassis, engine sizes and outputs, and now, different fuel types. He would rather see a situation more like Formula 1, with regulations that mandate more equalization.

Nevertheless, BMW has a very highly regarded diesel engine to start with. And if the WTCC engineers have decided to work on a diesel engine in spite of the boss' hesitations, then they'll want to do a very good job of it. We've seen Le Mans conquered by oil burners -- is the WTCC next?

[Source: Auto Racing Daily]

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