Oschersleben: SEAT Sport preview

Six official SEAT Sport Leóns head to Oschersleben SEAT Sport is the only team to break BMW's five year winning streak at the Motosport Arena in Oschersleben, and the Spanish team will be aiming to beat them again when it runs six official...

Six official SEAT Sport Leóns head to Oschersleben

SEAT Sport is the only team to break BMW's five year winning streak at the Motosport Arena in Oschersleben, and the Spanish team will be aiming to beat them again when it runs six official SEAT Leóns in Rounds 15 and 16 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Germany (August 25-26).

Oschersleben, located in the Bode region some 30kms from the city of Magdeburg, between Hannover and Berlin, has hosted the European Touring Car Championship from 2001 to 2004 and the WTCC in 2005 and 2006. Nine of those 10 races have been won by BMW, with only SEAT able to break that monopoly when Rickard Rydell took his Toledo Cupra to victory in second race of the 2004 ETCC meeting. SEAT also holds the S2000 lap record around the twisty 3.667km German track; a 1min 33.018secs (141.92 kph) set by Frank Diefenbacher in a Toledo Cupra that same race weekend.

SEAT Sport is fully aware of the big challenge ahead, and has prepared well. Yvan Muller, who is 6th in the Drivers' standings after scoring points in 10 of the previous 14 WTCC rounds, and Jordi Gené, will both race the SEAT León TDI for the second time, while the other four Leóns will remain petrol engined. Gabriele Tarquini, who is just one point behind Muller, Tiago Monteiro and Michel Jourdain Jr will be joined by Peter Terting, who returns to the team for his home round of the WTCC, and will race a SEAT León for the first time since Macau, 10 months ago.

Tom Coronel, the SEAT Netherlands powered by SEAT Sport official driver, has scored points in the last four rounds of the WTCC and will be looking to continue his run of good form in his GR Asia SEAT León.

With three class wins, Pierre-Yves Corthals (SEAT Belgium León) arrives in Oschersleben with a four points lead in the Independents' Trophy, while Roberto Colciago (SEAT Sport Italia León) won last time out at Anderstorp.

Technical analysis

Xavier Serra, SEAT Sport Race Engineer: "Oschersleben is quite a special track for our team because back in 2003 SEAT SPORT scored its first ever ETCC podium with the Toledo, claiming third position with Frank Diefenbacher. Oschersleben is a low top speed circuit, with a fast chicane that has to be attacked on the high kerbs, with a fast triple left hander and some interesting change of directions where the chassis must be very reactive. The track itself has changed since last race in 2006. Despite having arranged and increased some gravel traps the most important change is in turn one where the minimum speed will be reduced in about 20kph and owing to the new layout the front-wheel drive will be very penalised in turn two suffering more understeer than with the old shape."

Driver quotes

Yvan Muller: (SEAT León nº12): "Oschersleben is a very twisty circuit and so, with all the weight we're carrying, it will be tough for all of us. There are also a lot of places where acceleration is important, so the TDI engine might be an advantage. Between Sweden and Germany, I took my daughter on holiday to Corsica, so at least I should be nice and relaxed!"

Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT León nº 11): "BMW is normally very strong in Oschersleben, so maybe another very wet weekend might be better for us. The big problem might be Chevrolet, because their engine is so good. The difference in engine performance is amazing - they are often quite slow in the corners, but on the straights they disappear!"

Tiago Monteiro (SEAT León nº 18): "I didn't know the Oschersleben track before we tested there in the winter, but the test went very well for me. It's a very technical circuit, the kind of track I like, with the different curves and the chicane, and we seem to have a very good car for Oschersleben. I'm really enjoying the season; I haven't been in this situation for a few years. Formula One was frustrating, but in the WTCC I can fight for a good position and overtake people and so I'm really having fun."

Jordi Gené (SEAT León nº 9): "Oschersleben was very good for the shakedown of the León, so I have good memories of the circuit. In theory, it's not the best circuit for the diesel engine, but I believe that the car will give us a lot of good results in the future. We also have Gabriele and Yvan in a good position in the Championship, so I'm confident one of the two will do well in Germany"

Michel Jourdain Jr (SEAT León nº10): "I've only tested at Oschersleben once, but I like the track a lot. There was one long left-hand corner where I wasn't entirely happy, but that should be okay by the first race. We have the data from previous years, plus the other drivers always tell me a lot about the circuits, so I'm feeling really positive about going there and getting a good result"

Peter Terting (SEAT León nº40): "It's really great to be back in the SEAT Sport team and I am looking forward to returning to the WTCC at my home race. I know the León and I know the Oschersleben circuit very well, so I hope to be up to speed pretty quickly -- and with only two thirty minute free practice sessions before qualifying, I will need to be. But in the races anything can happen. I was very competitive in the León before, so I expect to be so again."

-credit: seat

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Tom Coronel , Tiago Monteiro , Yvan Muller , Peter Terting , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Roberto Colciago , Pierre-Yves Corthals , Michel Jourdain