Imola: SEAT Sport preview

SEAT Sport confident about the races in Imola Next weekend the World Touring Car Championship will be racing the ninth calendar event at the Imola circuit in Italy. The meeting will be a challenge for the participants since the track has...

SEAT Sport confident about the races in Imola

Next weekend the World Touring Car Championship will be racing the ninth calendar event at the Imola circuit in Italy. The meeting will be a challenge for the participants since the track has undergone extensive modifications that none of the teams are familiar with.

The elimination of the chicane near the finish line is the most significant change to the circuit, giving it a new, hard-braking straightaway, and the pitboxes and the paddock have also been reconstructed. The Imola track is now faster and the SEAT Sport engineers have resorted to a few basic details from the 2005 season set-up, which was the last time the touring cars competed at Imola, to start getting the Leon TDI WTCC ready on Friday. Whenever a new track is used, it is customary to schedule a free training session; the Leon TDI WTCC is new to this track, and training will be held on Friday.

SEAT is confident about the first of the two championship meetings on Italian soil (the second is taking place in Monza on 5 October) with the objective of increasing its title lead in both classifications. The team's main goal is the manufacturers' title, where SEAT leads by 24 points over BMW and 59 over Chevrolet. In theory, the Imola track is better suited to the Leon TDI than Oschersleben, the venue for the previous WTCC meeting. In the drivers' classification, Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini are in the lead, followed by Andy Priaulx and Rickard Rydell.

Xavi Serra, SEAT Sport Chief Track Engineer: "The most important difference is that the track speed is no longer average. It has become a high-speed circuit and the straight is over a kilometre long after eliminating the chicane by the finish line. This gives us one less steering change and no need to brake, and that will be good for our car on a track that pushes brakes to the limit".

Gabriele Tarquini, SEAT driver: "The only change to the track is the new asphalt from Rivazza to Tosa -- the rest is identical. But this time it's faster, and we have to make a critical braking decision right after the pitboxes. Eliminating the Variante Bassa is one less problem for our car, since its extra weight makes it harder than others to execute steering changes."

-credit: seat.es

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Yvan Muller , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini