Top ten debut for SEAT Sport's new Leon After today's qualifying session for Round 13 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, SEAT Sport cars will occupy 4 of the top 10 positions on the grid tomorrow. Attracting the lion's share of the ...
Top ten debut for SEAT Sport's new Leon
After today's qualifying session for Round 13 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship, SEAT Sport cars will occupy 4 of the top 10 positions on the grid tomorrow. Attracting the lion's share of the media attention at the Oschersleben circuit was the brand new SEAT Sport Leon, which made a dramatic and impressive start to its competition career.
The morning's two practice sessions saw Jordi Gene set the 5th and 4th fastest times respectively, with the car then qualifying 10th after a change to new tyres for the afternoon session. Fastest of the SEAT Toledo Cupra drivers was Rickard Rydell, who grabbed 3rd place late in the session, only to be squeezed out to 6th position in the final few seconds.
A slight error saw Peter Terting lock up his brakes on his last "flying" lap and so the young German driver failed to improve on his 8th position, while a delighted Stephane Ortelli, making his first appearance in a SEAT Sport France car, qualified 7th in the Toledo used by Jason Plato in Spa.
All four SEAT drivers will move one place up the order, however, since Jorg Muller's BMW drops ten positions after a penalty imposed following the races in Belgium.
Rickard Rydell (6th): "I was quite happy with that last run; I was in third place at the end of the lap, but dropped to sixth by the end of the session. I'm actually quite pleased, though; I'm carrying quite a lot of weight and yet I'm still the quickest of the SEAT Sport drivers. Obviously, I'd have liked to be higher up the grid but I'm far from disappointed. We know that the Oschersleben circuit suits the car and I'm really positive about our chances in the races"
Peter Terting (8th): "I had some problems in the free practice sessions this morning, but qualifying was not so bad for me. I made a slight mistake on my first outing and then had no problems on the second, but I tried to go quicker on the third outing and locked my brakes. The data shows that I was one or two tenths faster up to that point, but I was trying a little too hard and made the mistake. It's quite difficult to overtake here, but because of Jorg's penalty, I'll actually start from P7 tomorrow and I know the circuit very well so we'll see what will happen."
Jordi Gene (10th): "I'm actually very pleased with tenth position, because it's still a learning experience with the Leon. I was fifth and fourth in the two practice sessions this morning, but that was on used tyres. The team put new tyres on the car for qualifying and it was completely different. We worked to try and improve things throughout the session, but we clearly still have a lot to learn about that particular aspect of the car! The Leon has already shown its potential, though, and we surprised a few people -- just as I predicted we would."
Round 13 begins at 15.15 on Sunday, with Round 14 at 16.20 (local time). The finishing positions for Round 13 will dictate the grid for Round 14, with the top 8 run in reverse order.