SEAT are targeting a victory in the latest round of the World Touring Car Championship at the Oschersleben as they celebrate the anniversary of their first TDI win last season.
Many eyebrows were raised when SEAT introduced the turbo-diesel Leon at Anderstorp in 2007, but even more people were surprised when it broke its victory duck at the very next round in Germany.
Since then, nine more wins have followed and the Spanish manufacturer head into the latest round of the 2008 season having annexed first, second and fourth in the overall standings.
Indeed, even SEAT could not have predicted the success the TDI has helped to deliver them but as they head into the final stages of the season, their eye is very much on keeping the wins ticking over.
“We're centring our efforts on new technology because we believed in it when nobody else did and time has proven us right,” said Jaime Puig, SEAT Sport director.
“I trust we can continue progressing on the development of a car that has demonstrated its potential within the WTCC rules, and we would naturally like to celebrate the anniversary of our first victory by winning again in Oschersleben.”
Introduced to negate the challenges posed by the Leon's and its front-wheel drive chassis, the fact that Yvan Muller currently leads the championship by a single point from team-mate Gabriele Tarquini, who in turn is 15 points up on Andy Priaulx, justifies their reasons for taking a substantial risk on a diesel-powered engine.
“After analysing the WTCC technical rules we felt that the TDI could deliver good results,” Benoit Bagur, SEAT Sport chief engineer said. “When last year's championship got complicated we didn't think twice about facing the difficult challenge of developing the car in such little time.
“The results have proved our initial analysis to be correct and we're extremely satisfied with the wins and our innovative contribution to the championship.”