ETCC: Hockenheim: SEAT preview

The weekend of May 15th/16th sees the FIA European Touring Car Championship pay its first visit of the year to Germany. Despite the frustrations of rounds 5 and 6 at Magny Cours, the SEAT Sport team is full of confidence about its chances at ...

The weekend of May 15th/16th sees the FIA European Touring Car Championship pay its first visit of the year to Germany. Despite the frustrations of rounds 5 and 6 at Magny Cours, the SEAT Sport team is full of confidence about its chances at Hockenheim. In a test at the French circuit immediately after the race weekend, Rickard Rydell made a number of minor changes to the Toledo Cupra's set-up which saw him set lap times around half a second faster than the pole-winning time.

In addition, once the team had been able to examine the cars more closely, it was discovered that unrelated problems were behind the non-finishes of Frank Diefenbacher and Jordi Gené at Magny Cours. A broken spark plug caused Diefenbacher's engine to cut out, while a faulty connection in the wiring loom on Gené's car was the cause of his retirement. While the problems during the two races were extremely frustrating, the pace set by all three drivers earlier in the weekend was hugely encouraging. In particular, Sunday morning's warm-up session saw the SEATs 1st, 3rd and 4th quickest.

Rickard Rydell: "The test at Magny Cours went really well; we worked on some small things in the car's set-up and the lap times showed that we could easily have been on pole position. I haven't driven at Hockenheim since they changed the circuit layout, but I understand from Frank and Jordi that we should do well there. Magny Cours showed that we've definitely got the pace, now we've got to start finishing races on the podium.”

Jordi Gené: "The kind of problems we had at Magny Cours are impossible to predict, so I'm hoping nothing like that happens again. If we can do at Hockenheim what we did in qualifying in Magny Cours, then anything's possible. The winter test at Hockenheim went well and we were on the same kind of pace as the Alfas, so I'm full of confidence we can do well. It's also a very important weekend for us; since SEAT is very much a part of the Volkswagen family, it's like our second home event!”

Frank Diefenbacher: "Hockenheim is very much my local circuit – it's only about half an hour away from where I live and I know it well. The only problem area is the long back straight down to the hairpin, but the section around the motordrome should really suit the Toledo. If you look at the team's overall performance, we've been to three very different circuits and had very good results in qualifying and warm-up, but some incredible bad luck during the races. I think it's just a matter of time now before we're regularly scoring podium finishes."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series General
Drivers Frank Diefenbacher , Rickard Rydell