Silverstone: SEAT Sport race notes

An historic 1-2 for SEAT Sport at Silverstone Both Saturday and Sunday saw the Silverstone circuit bathed in warm sunshine with clear blue skies and air temperatures of around 18 degrees Celcius. Race 1 An incident-packed Round 5 of the FIA...

An historic 1-2 for SEAT Sport at Silverstone

Both Saturday and Sunday saw the Silverstone circuit bathed in warm sunshine with clear blue skies and air temperatures of around 18 degrees Celcius. Race 1 An incident-packed Round 5 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship saw the four SEAT Sport Toledo Cupras battle for points throughout the 14 lap race. In the end, a delighted Peter Terting headed the SEAT challenge by finishing in 6th place and so scored his first points of the season.

Rickard Rydell finished a fraction of a second behind Peter in 7th place, and with British Touring Car Championship star Jason Plato finishing 8th in his first race for the WTCC team Toledo Cupras would occupy the first three grid positions for Round 6. At one point, all four SEAT Sport cars were running in formation and Jordi Gené was also in contention for points, but the close racing so typical of the WTCC saw Plato's car touch Gené's Toledo and the Spaniard dropped outside the top 10, eventually finishing in 11th place behind the BMWs of Jörg and Dirk Müller.

Peter Terting (6th): "It was a good race for me and at the end we were clearly faster than Andy Priaulx's BMW. I was able to fight with Rickard and I'm more than happy with sixth place and my first points of the season. I'm also starting from third on the grid in Race 2 and so we will see what happens. I've asked for a few small changes to be made to the set-up, but after my first race here at Silverstone, I'm very happy."

Rickard Rydell (7th): "It's clear that I have the pace and so what happened in qualifying was really unlucky. I was quicker than Peter and if it had been anyone else, I would have passed, but he's my team-mate and I didn't want to risk hitting him. I tried to go around the outside, but it didn't work. I know we have the pace to stay out in front in Race 2, but it'll all depend on what happens at the start."

Jason Plato (8th): "I made a few moves on people, but I just couldn't make them stick; I had a little too much oversteer in the quick corners and I think I'll be stuck with it for race 2. I'm really pleased to be on pole, of course, but I'm not sure I'll be able to hang onto the lead because I might not be too fast through Copse. I'll do what I can for the team, though, and help the others where I can."

Jordi Gené (11th): "For sure, it hasn't been a great weekend for me so far! Garcia was clearly having problems and so I thought I was on course for eighth place when Jason nudged me and I lost a couple of places. The two Müllers were too quick and so 11th was the best I could hope for. I'm just aiming to score points in the next race; if I can get one or two I'll be happy, but I know it'll be tough."

Race 2 Rickard Rydell and Jason Plato drove brilliantly to give the SEAT Sport team its first ever 1-2 finish and its first victory in the WTCC. The BMW of Andy Priaulx stormed through from the second row to lead going into the first corner, but after a lap behind the safety car, Rydell pressured the European Champion for a further 8 laps until a puncture settled the issue and Rickard was able to drive to an historic victory. Equally as thrilling was Plato's drive to second place; the Toledo holding off first the BMW of Dirk Müller and then Gabriele Tarquini's Alfa Romeo to finally secure the second step of the podium.

Round 6 also saw Jordi Gené enjoy an upturn in his fortunes. After the disappointment of finishing 11th in Race 1, a determined drive saw Jordi quietly carve his way through the field, finally passing Dirk Müller on lap 13 to claim 5th place. For most of the race, it looked as though all four of the SEAT Sport cars would finish in the points, but contact with Jörg Müller's BMW on the penultimate lap spun Peter Terting onto the grass and the dismayed German driver eventually finished in 16th place.

Rickard Rydell (1st): "I'm really happy for the team- the only problem we had all weekend was my mistake in qualifying. I knew that the car was quick enough to win after Race 1, but a good start is vital and I managed to do that. After that, I was waiting for Andy's tyres to go off; I knew they'd suffer with the success ballast he was carrying and, even without his puncture, I think I could have won. To win for the second time for SEAT Sport feels great!"

Jason Plato (2nd): "A fantastic result for the team! I knew the BMW would make a good start, but I didn't think it would be that good. After the safety car came in, I decided to try and hold people back and give Rickard some room. I came under pressure as a result, but that was my job! I'm over the moon to have helped the team achieve this one-two; after the first practice, we shared a lot of knowledge on the various set-ups. I know I learned a lot and I think the relationship between the two teams worked really well."

Jordi Gené (5th): "I'm very happy for the team, but disappointed with my result. I feel like I deserved a podium finish, but someone stole it from me. Maybe because I was so annoyed, I did my best performance! I was clearly on the pace, but I didn't get what I deserved. As far as the team is concerned, I hope we get many more results like this."

Peter Terting (16th): "My problem was that I was fighting with the Alfas; one of them hit me on lap 2 and damaged my steering. I was seventh and in the points when Müller hit me on lap 13 and that was that. Race 1 was very good, though, and we can go to Imola with confidence; the test there went very well for us and I'm looking forward to scoring some more points."

Jaime Puig, SEAT Sport Director: "This is an historic moment for us; the first time a Spanish manufacturer has won a World Championship event and doing it while fighting bumper-to-bumper with brands like BMW and Alfa Romeo makes it even more special. This was very much a team effort – Rickard, Jason, Peter and Jordi, and the help we received from SEAT Sport UK, all played a crucial part this weekend. We now start to prepare for Imola in two weeks' time and also to make the new León WTCC a winner, just like the Toledo Cupra it will replace!"

-seat-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Dirk Müller , Jorg Muller , Jason Plato , Peter Terting , Rickard Rydell , Jordi Gene , Jaime Puig