The five cars of the SEAT Sport Team qualified on the last positions after the qualifying practices of the World Touring Car Championship staged today on the French racetrack of Pau.
Tomorrow, the cars of the Spanish make will take the start from the last positions of the starting grid, as a result of the lack of clarity in the technical regulations and the constant changes in the implementation procedure of these regulations by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in this championship, hindering participants from fighting at the top level on an equal basis.
‘It is impossible to race like this’, said a very disappointed Antonio Rodriguez, SEAT Sport Team Manager, faced with the silence from the FIA and the absence of any statement after the exclusion of Tiago Monteiro’s car of the race in Marrakech last 3rd May.
At the beginning of the season, once the entries were closed, and before the first race, the FIA changed the technical regulations applying a restriction that limited the maximum turbo pressure to 2.5 bar, plus a variable tolerance depending on the atmospheric pressure and the temperature, that would be established and applied race by race. This tolerance was removed after the race in Marrakech without any explanation, a fact that only penalises the performance of the SEAT León TDI.
An obvious demonstration of this is the excellent result posted by the SEAT Leon gasoline from Dutch pilot Tom Coronel, who managed to reach third position in tomorrow’s grid, just 0.455 seconds behind pole position BMW of Andy Priaulx.
From their racing debut, more than 30 years ago, SEAT has complied with and respected all technical and sporting regulations of the FIA. The clarity, transparency and stability of these regulations are essential, not only for participants, but also for the prestige of the championships, and in this particular case, of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC).
The constant changes and technical restrictions, which are only affecting the SEAT cars, break this stability and the crucial balance and competitiveness between all participating makes.
Despite the bad results achieved today, SEAT will be taking part in tomorrow’s race to show their commitment with the World Touring Car Championship, but it is also the start of a period of reflection as regards the future.