Brands Hatch: Seat Sport preview

Brands Hatch is a radical change of scenery for the SEAT Leon TDI The Brands Hatch circuit, one of Europe's most historical motorsports venues, is hosting the eighth World Touring Car Championship event on 19 July before taking time off for the...

Brands Hatch is a radical change of scenery for the SEAT Leon TDI

The Brands Hatch circuit, one of Europe's most historical motorsports venues, is hosting the eighth World Touring Car Championship event on 19 July before taking time off for the usual summer break. SEAT Sport is getting ready for a tough competition given the track's layout difficulties, which has nothing to do with the races run on Oporto's urban circuit.

Brands Hatch shares a few similarities with Brno. It also has sharp elevation changes and few straightaways, and its famous "Paddock Hill Bend" is one of the most challenging of the entire championship. With these features, the ballast weight plays an important role, especially on the wear of the tyres of front-wheel drive cars like the SEAT Leon TDI. This will make SEAT Sport engineers work hard to find the balance to compensate the 40 kg of supplementary weight carried at this race.

Despite this drawback, the team has always managed to score points, even in less favourable former conditions, and this has put them in the championship lead since the beginning in both the drivers' and manufacturers' titles. SEAT Sport has the same objective for Brands Hatch, and the fantastic results in Oporto will give them the chance to go into the last race before the summer break with the hopes of finishing in the same position. After seven meetings, SEAT has a 17 point advantage over BMW and 70 over Chevrolet. In the drivers' standings, Yvan Muller has a 14 point spread over Gabriele Tarquini and 15 over Augusto Farfus.

SEAT managed a spectacular result on this track in 2006 by snagging all three podium positions. It was a historic feat and is still the brand's best performance on this circuit. In face of the current events, this will be a hard act to follow, but it is also a motivation for all the SEAT Sport team members.

ourth SEAT Leon Eurocup meeting

Diego Puyo competed in the WTCC held in Oporto, and to round off an excellent weekend, chalked up enough points to take the lead in the current SEAT Leon Eurocup edition. The next meeting is taking place on the Brands Hatch track, where Norbert Michelisz will be racing at both the WTCC and the Eurocup events.

The Eurocup rules state that no driver can compete at two WTCC events, so last weekend's winner Puyo yields his place to Michelisz. This will be Michelisz's second shot at the WTCC as he participated for the first time last year on Japan's Okayama track.

On this season's only urban track in Oporto, Freddy Barth and Michelisz won both races last weekend, but the outcome gave Puyo a six-point advantage in the general standings. Michelisz and Maximo Pedalà, currently both with 30 points, will be trying to narrow that gap at Brands Hatch.

This season's first three Eurocup meetings have had five different winners of six races -- two-time Norbert Michelisz, Andrea Larini, Michael Rossi, Diego Puyo and Freddy Barth.

-credit: seat

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Yvan Muller , Augusto Farfus , Gabriele Tarquini , Andrea Larini , Michael Rossi , Norbert Michelisz