SEAT Sport gears up for Leon WTCC debut The next two races in the FIA World Touring Car Championship -- at Oschersleben in Germany on August 28th -- will see the SEAT Sport Leon WTCC make its competitive debut. The car received its ...
SEAT Sport gears up for Leon WTCC debut
The next two races in the FIA World Touring Car Championship -- at Oschersleben in Germany on August 28th -- will see the SEAT Sport Leon WTCC make its competitive debut. The car received its public unveiling at the Barcelona Motor Show on May 5th and its track debut before the end of the season was promised at that time. Its appearance at Oschersleben, in the hands of Jordi Gene, both fulfils that promise and marks an expansion of the testing programme that began almost immediately after its show-stealing appearance in Barcelona.
Last year, the Oschersleben circuit gave the SEAT Sport team its first win when Rickard Rydell drove his Toledo Cupra to victory. Following more wins for Rydell and Peter Terting this year, both men will drive Toledos in Germany, allowing engineers the perfect opportunity to compare the performances of the old and new cars on one of the team's favourite circuits.
Rickard Rydell: "I think that all three of us have a really good chance of winning; it's a circuit that we know is good for the Toledo, because the chassis works well there, and theoretically it should be good for the Leon as well. The extra downforce will be an advantage in the corners and the straights aren't long enough for the drag to have much of an effect. I can't wait for my first race in the car, which the team has promised will be before the end of the season."
Jordi Gene: "I'm quietly confident. I don't think we should be going to Oschersleben with thoughts of winning with the Leon, although at the same time the car may well surprise a few people! I'm very happy to be given the honour of starting with the car for the first time, but it's still early in its development. It's a great base; it has good suspension geometry and an excellent chassis that works really well in the road car. We still have some work to do to get the best out of the WTCC car, but it's better than the Toledo, that's already clear. The potential is there; the only question mark is when."
Peter Terting: "I have a really good feeling about Oschersleben; I know the circuit well and I don't have much weight in my car. Rickard's win showed that it's a circuit that suits the Toledo -- lots of corners and not many straights. I think that for Jordi, too, it'll be a good circuit. You need lots of braking force in the corners and the Leon has more downforce than the Toledo. This is a great chance for us to test the Leon, not just against the Toledo, but against the BMWs and the Alfas for the first time."
Jaime Puig, SEAT Sport Director: "For the second year in a row, Oschersleben will be very important for SEAT Sport. The best way of testing a new car is to race it and so Oschersleben will accelerate the Leon testing programme. It's also very important for SEAT that both the road car and the racing car are being launched at exactly the same time. We chose to take one Leon and two Toledos to give us a comparison between the two, but the Leon is our future."