SEAT Sport prepares for Turkish delights
The last time SEAT Sport raced at a brand new circuit -- at Puebla in Mexico -- it won a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, so the Spanish team heads to another new venue, the Otodrom Circuit on the outskirts of Istanbul in Turkey, on September 18th in understandably confident mood. With a new circuit comes a new car, as Rounds 15 and 16 of the WTCC will only be the second time the new Leon has been raced.
Jordi Gene, who gave the Leon a great world debut by starting from the front row of the grid and finishing 4th in the last race at Oschersleben, will once again drive the latest generation SEAT. As the most technically advanced touring car on the grid, SEAT Sport will continue to test the Leon during the remainder of the 2005 season in preparation for the 2006 FIA World Touring Car Championship. SEAT Sport team-mates Rickard Rydell, who is just two points behind 4th placed Jorg Muller in the Drivers' Championship, and Peter Terting, who famously won that race in Mexico, will continue to race the Toledo Cupra in Turkey.
Rickard Rydell: "We don't really know a great deal about the Istanbul circuit; we certainly don't know how quick the others will be, although I think the SEATs should all be quite competitive. I'm looking forward to it -- it certainly looks to be a great track. I'll be out for points in both races, although the Championship is so close and the cars are now so competitive that just to score points shows you've done a good job. I'll be sorry to say goodbye to the Toledo -- it's a good car and quite competitive -- but I'm also really looking forward to racing with the Leon."
Jordi Gene: "I'm very happy after Oschersleben, but we know that it will be difficult to repeat the result with the Leon in Istanbul because of the long straights. We've carried out some more testing since Oschersleben and we've found some very positive things with the car. I honestly don't know if it will be in the top five or the top ten; the Toledos should be slightly quicker than the Leon, but I hope to be just behind them. The Istanbul circuit looks very good --Y one of the best in the world, I'd say. It's new, big and safe and I'm really looking forward to the weekend."
Peter Terting: "Istanbul looks to be quite a good circuit for SEAT Sport. Okay, it's a long circuit with some long straights that we don't really like, but there are also some medium-speed corners and they should be good for both the Toledo and the Leon. I also won't be carrying so much ballast and so I'm hoping to do really well. We'll win in the corners, but lose out a little on the straights, I think, although we have a very good chance for a good result there."