SEAT Sport hopes for more sunshine at Spa After a cloudy morning, the sun came out in time for today's qualifying session ahead of Round 11 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. Quickest of the four SEAT Sport drivers was Jordi Gene, who ...
SEAT Sport hopes for more sunshine at Spa
After a cloudy morning, the sun came out in time for today's qualifying session ahead of Round 11 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. Quickest of the four SEAT Sport drivers was Jordi Gene, who qualified 5th after running for much of the session in 3rd place. The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is the longest in the series and getting an aerodynamic "tow" from other cars is crucial.
Jordi timed his move brilliantly and so qualified a little over 0.1 second behind the BMWs of Jorg and Dirk Muller. Despite carrying 40kgs of "success ballast", Rickard Rydell qualified 9th and is confident of a points-scoring finish in tomorrow's opening race, while Jason Plato is 11th and Peter Terting 12th after both drivers slightly mis-timed their attempts at catching a "tow".
The infamous Spa weather may well also play a part in proceedings tomorrow as both Jordi and Peter have an extra set of dry-weather tyres, although both are aware that rain could wipe out that advantage.
Jordi Gene (5th): "It's not brilliant, but it's good enough. I was hoping for one row better, but we took a slight gamble and it didn't quite work. The BMWs are really the ones to beat and I showed I was able to match them, so I'm very positive. My aim is to finish on the podium and I'm confident I can do that; I've shown I'm quick in the dry, plus I have a spare set of tyres, so I'll be hoping that it doesn't rain tomorrow."
Rickard Rydell (9th): "Normally, I wouldn't be happy with 9th place, but I'm actually quite satisfied. Considering the weight, I'm at least as fast as Jordi and quicker than both Jason and Peter, but the important thing is that we knew the BMWs would be fast here and we're able to match them. Of course, I'd like to be a few places higher, but 9th is okay. You can be sure that I'll be trying for a top 8 finish in Race 1."
Jason Plato (11th): "You really need a slip-stream here and I didn't quite get it. Jordi got a perfect tow early on; I stayed out of his way because I didn't want to spoil his chances and I ended up in the dirty air. Then I tried to get a tow from James Thompson and he made a mistake. On my last lap, I was half a second up when I caught Colciago on a slow lap and that was that. It really is cat and mouse out there!"
Peter Terting (12th): "The session was not bad, but I can really feel the effect of the weight. I was a little unlucky because I waited for the Alfas to give me a tow and all that happened was that I got was caught up in traffic. I would have liked to go out again on my third set of tyres, but I ran out of time. I don't know what will happen if it rains, so I'll be watching the weather forecast on TV tonight really closely!"
In the Michelin Cup for Independent Drivers, Tom Coronel, driving a SEAT Sport Holland Toledo Cupra, set the fastest time and so will start from 14th place. Round 11 begins at 12.10 on Saturday, with Round 12 at 13.20 (local time). The finishing positions for Round 11 will dictate the grid for Round 12, with the top 8 run in reverse order.