SEAT Sport dominates Valencia qualifying For the first time in the FIA World Touring Car Championship's short history, Round 17 of the series will see the front row of a race grid occupied entirely by SEAT Sport cars. In all, 3 of the top 5 places...
SEAT Sport dominates Valencia qualifying For the first time in the FIA World Touring Car Championship's short history, Round 17 of the series will see the front row of a race grid occupied entirely by SEAT Sport cars. In all, 3 of the top 5 places are filled by SEAT Sport Leons; Jordi Gene will be on pole position, with Peter Terting alongside him and Rickard Rydell in 5th position. Today's qualifying session at the Valencia circuit saw Jordi set the provisional pole time on only his second lap, bettering his performance in the closing minutes.
For much of the session, SEAT Sport cars held all of the top three positions, with Rickard only dropping to 5th with around two minutes remaining. The Spanish round of the series is the first time that all three drivers will compete in the new Leon, with both Rydell and Terting using this morning's two free practice sessions to work on suspension set-ups. Gene's experiences of competing in Germany and Turkey with the car clearly paid dividends, as did the long hours put in by the team's mechanics and engineers in preparing the three Leons for their home event.
Jordi Gene (1st): "I'm extremely happy this evening, but of course I could be happier still tomorrow! This year has been very mixed for us; if I'm honest, I'm a little surprised at just how fast the car was, but it all worked perfectly. It was all or nothing on my two quick laps and I took a few risks, but we knew that this track really suits the Leon and so I had to take advantage of that fact. If I can make a good start tomorrow, I will give one hundred and ten per cent to stay in front. I want to win, that's for sure -- this is my race!"
Peter Terting (2nd): "I was second on the grid in Mexico because I finished seventh in Race 1, but this is the first time I've qualified on the front row. The team has worked incredibly hard to get the car ready -- taking no holidays and working all the hours possible -- and so I have to thank my engineer and all the guys for this. The Leon is very different to the Toledo and we have to work a lot harder to set it up. This morning, it was one step forward and one step back but it all worked perfectly this afternoon and it's a great feeling for me to be in P2."
Rickard Rydell (5th): "I'm really, really pleased with qualifying fifth in my first session in the Leon and it's fantastic for the team that we're P1 and P2. I'm carrying more weight than both Peter and Jordi, so I'm very pleased with what I was able to do. We've been trying different things to try to improve the car's balance and, to be honest, there's a lot more to come from the car but at least we know we're going in the right direction. I'll be happy if I can finish in the points in both races; anything else will be a bonus."
Round 17 begins at 15.10 on Sunday, with Round 18 at 16.15 (local time). The finishing positions for Round 17 will dictate the grid for Round 18, with the top 8 run in reverse order.