Three podium finishes for SEAT in Oschersleben SEAT keeps the leadership in the World Touring Car Championship after the two races staged today at the German Oschersleben racetrack. The efforts of the SEAT Sport team, achieving three podium ...
Three podium finishes for SEAT in Oschersleben
SEAT keeps the leadership in the World Touring Car Championship after the two races staged today at the German Oschersleben racetrack. The efforts of the SEAT Sport team, achieving three podium finishes, two for Rydell and one for Rydell, allowed them to continue on top of the championship standings both manufacturers' and drivers', which is now led by Gabriele Tarquini.
However, the difference between all title contenders is very small, which was exactly what had been forecasted by the team's engineers, who knew that in Oschersleben, they were facing one of the most difficult venues. BMW is only two points behind SEAT in the manufacturers' standings and Gabriele Tarquini holds the same advantage, two points, over Augusto Farfus, who is second in the drivers' standings. Yvan Muller is third, after giving away several points due to an incident in the first race.
Starting from pole, Gabriele Tarquini took the lead of the first race, followed by Rickard Rydell, until they were both overtaken by Andy Priaulx. Both SEAT drivers kept their positions until the finish line, scoring important points for the championship. Their team mates had bad luck, since Jordi Gene and Tiago Monteiro were involved in an accident in turn one and Yvan Muller was forced to retire halfway the race after touching with Augusto Farfus.
In the second race, Gabriele Tarquini had an exceptional performance, taking his SEAT Leon TDI from eighth to third, which awarded him another podium finish and the lead in the drivers' standings. Yvan Muller also made a great race, recovering from the back of the grid to seventh position, scoring points that may become decisive at the end of the season.
Jordi Gene had to retire shortly after the start, while Rickard Rydell did not make a good start. Tiago Monteiro made a good race as well, but he was hit by another driver in the last lap.
The efforts made by all SEAT drivers is noteworthy considering that the changes made in the technical regulations have reduced the race pace of the Leon TDI compared to the start of the season. Under these conditions, the fight against their main rivals becomes especially difficult, as admitted by Gabriele Tarquini, the best of the SEAT drivers in today's races: "I'm a bit frustrated because despite making good practices and taking the pole, I don't have the necessary race pace to fight against my rivals. The FIA reduced our performance and there is nothing else we can do. This is our level right now and therefore, although I'm happy to be leading the standings, I know that the race in Imola will be much harder than last year".
ANDREA LARINI WILL BE WTCC DRIVER IN IMOLA
Great show of the SEAT Leon Eurocup at Oschersleben with victories of Michelisz and Coronel
The SEAT Leon Eurocup offered this weekend a superb show to all fans gathered at the Oschersleben racetrack. The first race, which was held yesterday and ended with the victory of Norbert Michelisz, was one of the best races of the season and the one held today, with the victory of Tim Coronel, was no less. The best driver of the combined results of both races, is Andrea Larini, who thanks to his two podium finishes has been awarded with the right to participate in the WTCC round in Imola at the wheel of a SEAT Leon WTCC.
In the second race, staged today, the leader Freddy Barth who had a clear lead after a multiple incident in turn one, lost all of his options after being penalised by the race stewards with a drive through due to an incident with Tom Coronel, protagonist of a furious fight for the podium with Rossi, Larini and Dudukalo. With Barth far ahead, the excitement was in the group, until he was penalised in lap ten out of fourteen. Fulin who was second, lost some places and Coronel and Rossi were able to escape from their followers. Rossi tried to clinch the victory but Coronel made not a single mistake until the finish.
Fourth victory for Norbert Michelisz
Michelisz did not have a good start; a hit in the first lap set him back to fifth place, behind Matejovsky, Hatvani, Larini and Fulin. While he was starting his recovery, the surprise was provided by Hungarian driver Balint Hatvani, who did not only finish second in his second race in the class but also took the lead in the fourth lap.
In the three following laps, Michelisz overtook Larini and Matejovsky, starting a spectacular recovery that took him to the lead in lap thirteen, taking advantage of a puncture that put an end to Hatvani's display. From that moment the race stabilised with only few changes during the last three laps, thus giving Michelisz his fourth victory of the season.
The next and final round of the SEAT Leon Eurocup 2009 will be held in Imola on 19th and 20th September.