ETCC: Spa: SEAT Sport preview

SEAT Sport set for Spa SEAT Sport is set for one of the most challenging circuits in the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship, when its trio of Toledo Cupras will race at the famous Spa- Francorchamps track on Saturday July 31st. A race ...

SEAT Sport set for Spa

SEAT Sport is set for one of the most challenging circuits in the 2004 FIA European Touring Car Championship, when its trio of Toledo Cupras will race at the famous Spa- Francorchamps track on Saturday July 31st. A race victory still eludes the team, but hopes are high that the string of pole positions and podium finishes earlier in the year will be repeated in Belgium. The classic circuit ranks highly on most drivers' lists of favourites, with all three of the SEAT Sport drivers looking forward to the two ETCC races.

In preparation for the forthcoming rounds at Imola and Oschersleben, but particularly the final two races in Dubai, the team recently undertook a three-day test session at the Almeria circuit in southern Spain, working on general set-up tests to confirm how high temperatures will affect the Toledo Cupra. All three drivers pronounced themselves to be highly satisfied with the results.

Rickard Rydell: "Like many drivers, I really like Spa; it's one of my favourite circuits. There are some long, sweeping bends and plenty of places to overtake. Having said that, it's possibly not going to be as good for us as, say, Imola or Oschersleben. Engine power is crucial at Spa and we know we have some work to do in that area. The hot weather test at Almeria was really good – it was 27 degrees when I arrived at 11 o'clock at night, so it certainly gave us the weather conditions we were after!"

Jordi Gene: "Spa is a circuit I really like; I've had some good results there in the past, including a podium finish when I raced in single-seaters. Last year, we were quite a way off the pole position time, but this year I think that we've shown that we are a lot more competitive. We might not be fighting to win, but we should be fighting to be on the podium. The test at Almeria was good, not just for the hot weather things, but it was our first test since Donington and we've been able to cure the brake problems I had there."

Frank Diefenbacher: "Spa is a very interesting circuit. It's very long and very much a driver's circuit; you certainly can't afford to make any mistakes. Last year, Spa wasn't great for us, but we've made a lot of progress since then so we should be able to get some points and the second race should see us fighting to be on the podium. We also found a few things during the test so I should be really confident in the car once again."

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Series General
Drivers Frank Diefenbacher , Rickard Rydell , Jordi Gene