The Spanish leg of the World Touring Car Championship is being held this weekend on Valencia’s Cheste track, where SEAT Sport hopes to get the results that are worthy of all the work they have put in, despite modifications introduced by the FIA on how the technical rules are applied, that have penalised the SEAT León TDI.
The reduction of the turbo pressure limit to 2.5 bars (with no tolerance) at the race held in Pau left the team with no chance of being competitive after the drastic power loss compared to the previous races, where the limit was 2.9 bars. For the Valencia race, the FIA established a new turbo pressure limit of 2.7 bars, and this decision was known seven days before verifications were made. Despite the short lead-time, SEAT Sport has worked hard to adapt their cars to the new application of the rules.
Besides, the FIA has rectified and explained how the pressure limit rules will be applied for the engine revolutions of all the cars racing in the championship.
SEAT wishes to express their disagreement with this modification to how the technical rules are applied, which is the third since the season began, but at the same time declares their commitment to the World Championship, which they will demonstrate by vying for the victory in Cheste. Since it has been impossible to carry out any testing since the FIA published the amendment to the technical rules application, the free training sessions on Saturday will be essential.
The team’s five drivers and five engineers will work hard during the training sessions to recalibrate the settings on the León TDI. The team will be using their best skills – the ones that took them to the double title in 2008 – excellent preparation, a good strategy, and an absolute priority for team-work beyond individual objectives.
Despite what happened in Pau, Yvan Muller still leads the championship, and SEAT is leading in the manufacturers’ classification. At least the negative result in France has a positive aspect, since the SEAT cars will be competing in Valencia with 20 kg less weight than BMW and 10 kg less than Chevrolet.
The Cheste track is a particularly difficult one for SEAT, but it also holds fond memories. Jordi Gené won there in 2005 with the SEAT León WTCC, which was this car’s first victory after its third track appearance.
Saturday, 30 May
8:45 – 9:15 a.m.: Free training
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Free training
3:15 – 3:50 p.m.: Qualifying session
Sunday, 31 May
9:30 – 9:45 a.m.: Warm-up
12:50 p.m.: 1st race. 11 laps with a rolling start.
3:05 p.m.: 2nd race. 11 laps with a standing start.
Weights and ballast of competing cars
SEAT León TDI: 1,170 kg + 20 kg ballast = 1,190 kg
SEAT petrol: 1,170 kg – 20 kg ballast = 1,150 kg
BMW: 1,155 kg + 40 kg ballast = 1,195 kg
Chevrolet Cruze: 1,170 kg + 30 kg ballast = 1,200 kg
BMW (Privates): 1,155 kg
Lada: 1,170 kg – 20 kg ballast = 1,150 kg
(Thanks to a special FIA authorisation, the BMW ‘320Si’ will be competing with 15 kg less than the SEAT León TDI)