ETCC: Spa: SEAT Sport qualifying notes

SEAT Sport sizzles at Spa Round 13 of the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship will, once again, see a SEAT Sport Toledo Cupra start from the front row of the grid. This afternoon's 30 minute session, run in glorious sunshine at the ...

SEAT Sport sizzles at Spa Round 13 of the 2004

FIA European Touring Car Championship will, once again, see a SEAT Sport Toledo Cupra start from the front row of the grid. This afternoon's 30 minute session, run in glorious sunshine at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, saw Jordi Gene qualify in 2nd place, with Rickard Rydell 7th fastest and Frank Diefenbacher 12th. Rydell's brakes locked on at the end of his quickest lap and assistance from the marshals then denied him the chance to improve on 7th position.

A disappointed Diefenbacher was forced to contend with serious understeer, while an exhaust problem meant he was unable to complete more than one stint during the half hour.

Both races are being run on Saturday, prior to the Spa 24 Hour GT Race, with Round 13 beginning at 12.45 and Round 14 at 13.55. As usual, the finishing positions in the first race will dictate the grid for the second, with the top 8 run in reverse order.

Jordi Gene: "I'm very happy. My first attempt wasn't so good - I had a big sideways moment at Eau Rouge and I lost some time. The second attempt was much better and I managed to get second place on the grid. I must say I wasn't expecting to be so fast here; Imola and Oschersleben will be much better for us. Having said that, a podium finish is possible – it depends on how tyre wear affects the others. My main problem tomorrow is the fact that the top seven consists of me, Rickard and five BMWs!"

Rickard Rydell: "I'm very happy that we clearly have the pace here. I was fastest in first practice this morning and P2 or P3 would have been possible in qualifying if my brakes hadn't seized on the last corner of the lap. As they were pushing me out of the way, there was a ‘ping' and the brakes released. I tried to drive back to the pits, but the Race Director judged I'd had outside help and so called me in. The car is clearly good enough to fight with the guys ahead of me, so I'm confident I can do well tomorrow."

Frank Diefenbacher: "I'm not very happy with my weekend so far! This is my fourth weekend with a heavy understeer problem and we can't seem to fix it, which is costing me a lot of time compared to the others. I also had some technical problems, which meant I was only able to complete one run. I'll be pushing for eighth place in Race 1, which will put me on pole for Race 2; that's my best chance for some useful points this weekend."

-seat-

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Series General
Drivers Frank Diefenbacher , Rickard Rydell , Jordi Gene