Imola: SEAT Sport Saturday notes

Gene heads the SEAT Sport challenge at Imola After today's 30-minute qualifying session, Jordi Gene will start round 7 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship from 3rd place on the grid, with his SEAT Sport colleagues Peter Terting in 7th...

Gene heads the SEAT Sport challenge at Imola

After today's 30-minute qualifying session, Jordi Gene will start round 7 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship from 3rd place on the grid, with his SEAT Sport colleagues Peter Terting in 7th place, Rickard Rydell 10th and Jason Plato 12th. Despite carrying 5kg of "success ballast" after the Silverstone races, Jordi set a time within around 0.7 of a second of the pole-sitting Alfa Romeo of Fabrizio Giovanardi and the Spaniard pronounced himself more than pleased with his day's work.

All of the other three SEAT Sport drivers had a promising day, with Rickard Rydell 2nd quickest in the first practice session and Jason Plato 3rd in the other. In qualifying, Plato - making only his second appearance for the WTCC team - was hit from behind on his first warming-up lap, although he recovered later in the session to qualify in 12th place, while Rydell will start Race 1 from 10th position despite clipping a kerb at one point and carrying 35kg of ballast. Peter Terting chose to play a tactical game and will start from 7th position, but with fresh tyres.

Jordi Gene (3rd): "I am very happy with my qualifying position. I think we're more than capable of taking second place but it'll be tough to win - Giovanardi was very fast today and it will be very difficult to catch him tomorrow. But, in general, I'm pleased with the car and my set-up; today has been a good day and I think all the indications for tomorrow for the entire team are very positive."

Peter Terting (7th): "For me, today's qualifying was only part of my strategy for tomorrow's races. I only did one flying lap on one set of tyres, so I have eight new tyres for tomorrow and so I can start both races on fresh rubber. I think I am in a very good position to have two good races and so I am very happy with this tactic."

Rickard Rydell (10th): "Thirty-five kilos of ballast is worth half a second around Imola, with all the acceleration and the up and down sections, so actually I'm okay. I did two fast runs, and on my second I was four-tenths up on my first time when I hit a kerb too hard. It pushed me sideways and I ran wide, so I immediately slowed down. Starting from tenth tomorrow will give me a good chance to finish eighth in the first race, which will put me on pole for the second."

Jason Plato (12th): "It's great to be here at Imola for the first time; it's quite a tricky circuit because you really have to attack the kerbs hard. There are thirty ways to hit each one and only one of those ways works, so local knowledge goes a very long way.

To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed to be started from twelfth, because I have very high personal standards and I want to do a good job for SEAT Sport. But tomorrow's another day and the team is looking very strong this weekend."

Round 7 begins at 15.10 on Sunday, with Round 8 at 16.15. The finishing positions for Round 7 will dictate the grid for Round 8, with the top 8 run in reverse order.

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Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Jason Plato , Peter Terting , Rickard Rydell , Jordi Gene