Estoril: SEAT Sport preview

SEAT Sport aims to extend WTCC lead at Estoril The FIA World Touring Car Championship will be reaching the half-way point this weekend with the sixth meeting in Estoril of the scheduled twelve on the race calendar. SEAT Sport is going into...

SEAT Sport aims to extend WTCC lead at Estoril

The FIA World Touring Car Championship will be reaching the half-way point this weekend with the sixth meeting in Estoril of the scheduled twelve on the race calendar. SEAT Sport is going into the race in the lead of the drivers' and manufacturers' titles after winning five races, nine podiums and three pole positions at the first five events.

Despite the ballast weighing down the SEAT León TDI in Brno, their competitiveness on any kind of track and under any condition was apparent, and SEAT Sport is still going all out at each meeting. Their objective is to defend their leadership as well as race to the victory at every opportunity, and the win in Brno is a fitting example.

The Estoril track will be hosting the WTCC for the first time. In 2003 it was the venue for the European Cup prior to becoming a world event, and a single-race invitation meeting event in 2006, where Ryan Sharp took the European title at the wheel of a petrol-powered SEAT León.

THE OPINION

Xavi Serra, SEAT Sport Chief Track Engineer
"Since we'll be racing at Estoril for the first time in five years, we don't have any information regarding the León TDI WTCC's performance compared to our rivals. The testing we carried out a few months ago gave us a few insights and we believe the track will be better suited to BMW than to our cars."

THE DRIVERS

Although all the drivers are looking forward to the challenge in Estoril, they all point out the added difficulty of racing on a completely unknown track that has never even hosted the WTCC. Gabriele Tarquini, for example, will be competing with the maximum ballast weight. On the other hand, Tiago Monteiro will be racing on home soil and is logically very excited about the race -- "this is an important race for me, and I feel even more motivated to win. The track, with its long curves is going to be a bit of a problem for our cars, especially due to the wear on the front tyres, but I trust all will go well. I want to score as many points as possible and of course make it to the podium."

Event details
Race: 2008 WTCC, races 11 and 12
Circuit: Estoril, Portugal
Length: 4.140 km. Two, 12-lap races

Schedule

Saturday, 12 July
8:00 -- 9:00 a.m.: Free training session
11:00 -- 11:30 a.m.: Free training session
3:00 -- 3:30 p.m.: Qualifying session

Sunday, 13 July
9:30 -- 9:45 a.m.: Warm-up
1:15 p.m.: 1st race
5:15 p.m.: 2 nd race

-credit: seat

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Gabriele Tarquini , Ryan Sharp