Oschersleben: Seat Sport qualifying report

SEAT SPORT DOMINATES WTCC QUALIFYING IN GERMANY 1-2-3 for SEAT Sport in Oschersleben qualifying SEAT Sport has qualified 1-2-3 for a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the very first time today. Gabriele Tarquini set a ...


SEAT SPORT DOMINATES WTCC QUALIFYING IN GERMANY
1-2-3 for SEAT Sport in Oschersleben qualifying

SEAT Sport has qualified 1-2-3 for a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the very first time today. Gabriele Tarquini set a pole-setting 1:36.291 in the closing moments of the session at the Motorsport Arena in Oschersleben, replacing team-mate Yvan Muller, driving the SEAT Leon TDI, at the top of the table by just 11 thousandths of a second. It is the second consecutive WTCC race meeting where SEAT has qualified on pole. WTCC Independent Trophy driver Roberto Colciago (SEAT Sport Italia Leon) qualified 3rd.

Gabriele was the initial pace-setter, setting an early 1:37.105 around the twisty 3.667km German track. In humid 23C air temperature conditions, and a track surface temperature of 28C, the circuit became quicker as the 30 minute session progressed and half way through qualifying Yvan sat on pole while Gabriele had dropped to 9th.

When Michel Jourdain clipped the barrier on the inside of the chicane and almost ripped the left front wheel off his Leon, the red flags came out. There was just 6mins 06sec remaining when the green lights came back on, as all 26 cars went out on track for a final shootout.

A stunning final lap saw Gabriele set a 1:36.291 -- an eighth of a second faster than his previous best and 0.011 seconds faster than Yvan. It was an amazing performance by both the drivers, not least because both were carrying 55kgs of weight handicap. They will start tomorrow's first rolling start race in an all-SEAT front row.

Tiago Monteiro made two small mistakes on his fastest lap and then had a yellow flag on his final lap, which prevented him equalling the pole position he recorded last time out at Anderstorp. With the top 20 drivers covered by less than a second, he wasn't unhappy to have qualified 7th. Peter Terting had great individual sector times but was frustrated not to get a full clear lap and qualified 12th, thanks to a series of waved flags and a BMW which pulled out of the pits directly in front of him and ruined his best lap. It was a similar story for Jordi Gene, who was blisteringly fast in the Leon TDI, but didn't put in a clean lap -- although he did survive a huge spin on his way to 18th. Michel was trying very hard, and after a spin and gentle tap into a wall, his qualifying came to an abrupt end at the chicane. He will line up 20th on tomorrow's moving grid.

Driver quotes

Gabriele Tarquini (SEAT Leon nº 11): "The track was getting faster and faster during qualifying, and at the end of the session I had a good set of tyres and no traffic. I know the Oschersleben circuit very well, so in this situation it is easy to get pole position!"

Yvan Muller: (SEAT Leon nº12): "I've lost pole position right at the end of qualifying before and now it has happened again -- but SEAT is on pole, so that is the most important thing. I wasn't so happy with the set-up of my car this morning, and if you had offered me a front row position then, I would have taken it."

Tiago Monteiro (SEAT Leon nº 18): "I was in the top five in both free practice sessions this morning, so I was hoping for the same in qualifying, but I made two small mistakes on my fastest lap -- and on a track like this, where all the times are very close, you pay a high price for a small mistake. I can race from seventh. If all goes well in race one, I can get on the podium, and if I stay where I am I will have a good starting position for race two."

Peter Terting (SEAT Leon nº 40): "Yellow flags, red flags and a BMW which pulled out of the pits straight in front of me when I was on a flying lap! It was a very frustrating qualifying session. I am really pleased with my sector times, but things outside the car prevented me qualifying higher."

Jordi Gene (SEAT Leon nº 9): "I have a good rhythm and speed, I just wasn't able to put it all together in one lap. I am very happy with the Leon TDI, but I am not happy because I am not at the front. I know I can fight for pole position and I am eighteenth."

Michel Jourdain Jr (SEAT Leon nº10): "I was pushing really hard, and a very small mistake caused a big problem for me. We have good pace with the car, but of course I am disappointed to have qualified so far down the grid. Race day for me will be very difficult, but we will have to wait and see what happens."

-credit: seat sport

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Tiago Monteiro , Yvan Muller , Peter Terting , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Roberto Colciago , Michel Jourdain