High hopes as SEAT Sport returns to Germany Following last weekend's two races at Imola, the teams contesting the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship have a break of less than a fortnight to prepare for the next two rounds at Oschersleben...
High hopes as SEAT Sport returns to Germany
Following last weekend's two races at Imola, the teams contesting the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship have a break of less than a fortnight to prepare for the next two rounds at Oschersleben in Germany on September 19th. The SEAT Sport team will head for Oschersleben in confident mood; the German circuit saw the team score its first- ever ETCC podium finish when Frank Diefenbacher finished 3rd there last year and all three drivers are hopeful that Oschersleben will be the scene of the team's first victory.
On paper, Oschersleben should really suit the SEAT Sport Toledo Cupras. The twisty circuit has a lot of kerbs and not many long straights and the Toledo has shown itself to be very stable over kerbs already this year. The 2004 ETCC, however, has been anything but predictable and it may well be that a SEAT Sport victory in Germany will depend on the fortunes of the other teams contesting the series.
Rickard Rydell: "I like Oschersleben, so I'm really looking forward to going there, but I'm a little less optimistic about winning than I was a couple of weeks ago. We thought we had a good chance of winning at Imola, but the pace of the Alfas surprised us. The SEAT is better over the kerbs than the Alfa, so we should be quicker than them, but the BMWs were good at Oschersleben last year and they won't be carrying much weight. I'll be happy if we're quicker than the Alfas and able to mix it with the BMWs."
Jordi Gene: "There are two circuits where we have a really good chance of victory. The first was Imola, where we did well considering the circumstances, and the other is Oschersleben. It won't be easy, since the BMWs will be on home ground and they were fast there last year and, after Imola, we don't know how the Alfas will go, but I don't see why we cannot win there. The car is good on twisty circuits, where you have to change direction quickly, and I'm really positive; I still dream of winning a race this year!"
Frank Diefenbacher: "I'm really looking forward to Oschersleben, not just because of last year, but I changed the chassis for Imola and my confidence has returned. I like the circuit a lot; it suits my driving style and last year it suited the Toledo perfectly. You have to think a lot about your line in the long corners and it can be quite dusty off the racing line. It's also not an overtaking circuit, so qualifying is as important as at Imola. I'll be disappointed if I don't get onto the podium at least once."