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Q&A: Scott Dennis, SEAT Sport - EXCLUSIVE.

SEAT Sport enjoyed a fine season in 2006 as Jason Plato, Darren Turner and James Thompson helped the team to a first manufacturers' title in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

For 2007, Plato and Turner will return with the SEAT Leon as the team attempts to not only defend its title, but also claim the drivers' crown for the first time.

Crash.net spoke to SEAT UK Motorsport manager Scott Dennis to chat about the driver line-up for the new season and to look ahead to 2007...

Q:
Scott, how happy are you with the driver line-up you've assembled?

Scott Dennis:
Very happy. Darren came to light in a driver evaluation that we did in 2005 and at the time, putting him in the car for the rounds that James Thompson couldn't do was a little bit of a risk because of his limited or non-existent front-wheel drive racing experience. But he showed, with the limited time he did have in the car, that he is more than capable of racing with the best out there and has repaid the faith we showed in him. It was quite pleasing to be able to reward him with a full season.

Q:
You must have been in quite a nice position as you looked for a partner for Jason with numerous impressive drivers in the Cupra Championship who did a good job last season and also the possibility of some of the SEAT WTCC drivers being available. You really had the chance to pick from some good drivers before selecting Darren.

Scott Dennis:
Yes we did, but to be fair, the three we focused on were the three we had last year. The Cupra drivers continued to impress at the test they did at Rockingham and it is testemant to the series that it is turing out the quality of driver that it is. I'm sure that all four of them [Mat Jackson, Alan Blencowe, Jonathan Adam and Fulvio Mussi] will go on to race in touring cars at some point if that is what they choose to do. We tried to keep our choices as narrow as possible because the danger is that you end up confusing yourself and don't see the wood for the trees.

Q:
How important is it to have two drivers who raced the car last season and therefore have some continuity in your line-up?

Scott Dennis:
It is hugely important. We have continuity in the driver line-up, obviously we are using the Leon again and we have continuity within the team. So for us going into the 2007 season with the S2000 regulations, not only do we have a year of experience with the car, we have a year of experience with the drivers and team which may increase the slight advantage that we have. I don't think it will be the walk in the park that everyone keeps telling me it will be, I think it will be a hard fought season and the fans are in for a real treat. I also think we could see grid sizes similar to those that we saw at the end of 2006 at Silverstone.

Q:
You mentioned how impressed you were with Darren and that came despite him only getting limited time in the car. How much do you think he can improve as a BTCC driver now he has a full season in the car?

Scott Dennis:
I think he has a huge opportunity and we will see a lot more improvement from Darren. He will be involved with the test programme from the off and I think he will be pushing Jason as one of the main contenders for the drivers' championship.

Q:
How do you see 2007 panning out?

Scott Dennis:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Scott Dennis, SEAT
Jason Plato (GBR), Seat Leon
Darren Turner (GBR), Seat Leon
Jaon Plato
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Jaon Plato
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