Valencia: Penultimate round preview

SEAT: THREE LEÓNS AND A YOUNG SPANIARD The whole SEAT Sport team is stepping up to the new car for their home race in Valencia. The team's three drivers Jordi Gené, Rickard Rydell and Peter Terting will all be at the wheel of the new León (it...


The whole SEAT Sport team is stepping up to the new car for their home race in Valencia. The team's three drivers Jordi Gené, Rickard Rydell and Peter Terting will all be at the wheel of the new León (it will be the first time for Rydell and Terting).

At the same time Marc Carol will make his debut in a Toledo Cupra. The 20-year old from Barcelona won the 2004 Spanish SEAT León Supercopa and his participation in the WTCC Race of Spain with the assistance of SEAT Sport is part of his prize.

SEAT Sport director Jaime Puig said: "I'm pleased that a driver who showed his talents in the León Supercopa can now race in the FIA WTCC with the support of the SEAT Sport team; we plan to do again with the winner of this year's Supercopa. "


JAS Motorsport will run two cars again at Valencia and Macau. The Italian team, forced to race only one Honda Accord since the second was demolished at Puebla, have signed Tomas Engström and Simon Harrison to join Adriano De Micheli.

41-year old Engström, who will drive at Valencia, took part in the 2005 FIA WTCC inaugural event in Monza; he then competed in the Swedish Touring Car Championship in which he was classified fifth with one race win in a JAS-built Honda Accord. "It feels good, especially because we are extending the co-operation with JAS," Engström said.

Harrison will join the team in Macau. The 36-year old Englishman competed in last year's FIA European Touring Car Championship. He is very familiar with Macau; there he qualified 3rd in 2003 before retiring after a clash with Jörg Müller. "It's great to race in Macau with such a competitive car," he commented. "We will aim for the Independents Trophy, however I would not be surprised to fight with the works drivers."


Further to their successful weekend in Istanbul, all the Alfa Romeo drivers will have heavy ballasts on board. Giovanardi and Thompson will carry the maximum 60 kg like championship leader Andy Priaulx Tarquini will be on 55 and Farfus on 30.


The International Court of Appeal's decision to confirm Stefano D'Aste's 2nd place finish in Spa, sanctioned the Proteam Motorsport driver's best result of a privateer this season. A successful weekend in Istanbul put Proteam in the lead of the Michelin Independent Team's trophy with two events to go.

Before the season could you have dreamt you would achieve such a brilliant result as you did in Spa? "At the beginning of the season, definitely not. But when we got to Spa we were really quick. I came from last to 16th in the first race and this gave me confidence. Also, when it rained I was happy because I knew driver competence was more important than engine performance so I went out there and drove as best I could."

Do you think Proteam can win the Independent Team's trophy? "Yes, I think Proteam really are the best private team. At every track we go to we quickly find a set-up that works well, because of good communication with the engineers and hard work."

What do you expect from Valencia and Macau? "Valencia favours front wheel drive cars, however I am confident about the races. I feel I could beat Hennerici but Coronel in the SEAT could be a more difficult challenge. As for Macau, I have never been there before. I am told the first time will be terrible but I am a quick learner so hopefully it will be ok. I am really looking forward to it."


UNIVERSITY: Within the promotional activities for the Spanish event, FIA WTCC cars and drivers will visit on Thursday the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. While the cars will be exhibited on the university's campus, the drivers will take part in a press conference and an autograph session.

CHEVROLET: A new engine step will be installed in the three Chevrolet Lacetti cars from Valencia; Robert Huff will be the first to test it at MIRA proving ground on Monday, while Nicola Larini and Alain Menu do it the day after. "We expect the new engine give us a three percent power increase," team manager Mark Busfield said.


Andy Priaulx, commenting on his results in Istanbul: "Sometimes you need a bit of luck and I got it in Race 1 in Istanbul: I was third and this has given me the great leap forward I needed to the front of the WTCC. I may have benefited from the misfortune of others, but I have seen this sort of luck from both sides remember Silverstone!"


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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Jorg Muller , Peter Terting , Simon Harrison , Rickard Rydell , Jordi Gene , Stefano D'Aste , Nicola Larini , Tomas Engstrom , Jaime Puig , Alain Menu
Teams Proteam Motorsport