ETCC: Dubai: SEAT Sport preview

SEAT Sport heads for Dubai in high spirits Fresh from Rickard Rydell taking the first ever ETCC win for SEAT Sport in Oschersleben, the European Touring Car Championship next heads for Dubai and the final two races of the 2004 season. The two...

SEAT Sport heads for Dubai in high spirits

Fresh from Rickard Rydell taking the first ever ETCC win for SEAT Sport in Oschersleben, the European Touring Car Championship next heads for Dubai and the final two races of the 2004 season. The two ETCC races and the FIA GT Championship round, to be run on Friday October 8th, will be the first occasion that the circuit will have hosted a major international racing series. Just 25 minutes from central Dubai, the Dubai Autodrome was only opened in March this year and the LG Super Racing Weekend has already been billed as the year's biggest motorsport event in the Middle East. Large crowds are forecast and the three SEAT Sport drivers are confident that they'll give the fans plenty to cheer.

Since none of the teams contesting the ETCC has had a chance to test at the circuit, success could hinge on the extra practice session on the Wednesday afternoon prior to qualifying on Thursday.

Rickard Rydell: "I've been doing a lot of driving activities for SEAT Sweden recently, and they were delighted with my win in Germany! As for Dubai, nobody really knows what to expect. It's a brand new circuit and so we don't know how competitive we'll be, nor how the others will get on. We've been competitive for the last three race weekends; in Spa, Imola and Oschersleben, and so we're all hoping we'll be quick in Dubai as well. I've only ever been there on holiday and I really enjoyed it - we Swedes love the sun!"

Jordi Gene: "I haven't seen any pictures of the circuit, but from the maps I have seen, it looks to be very fast and very wide which should suit us; but, to be honest, after Spa it seems that we can be competitive almost everywhere. The one thing we don't know anything about is the surface, but the engineers have run some good simulations and we should be fighting to be on the podium at the very least. Afterwards, my wife and I plan to stay on in Dubai for a short holiday, so I hope there's something to celebrate!"

Frank Diefenbacher: "It's obviously a brand new circuit and, while I've seen the maps and talked to the engineers, we don't know how we'll get on until we actually drive it. You can't make big changes on the Thursday, so I'm happy that we've got an extra thirty- minute practice session on the Wednesday; that will give us a chance to test different gearboxes and set-ups. There's no space to fail in this championship; if you lose one session, it's very difficult, if not impossible, to make it up."

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Series General
Drivers Frank Diefenbacher , Rickard Rydell , Jordi Gene