16 May 2009
SEAT angry following FIA changes
SEAT has reacted with anger to the results of the World Touring Car Championship qualifying session at Pau, which saw all five Leon TDIs fail to make it through to the top-ten shootout.
At the start of the season, the diesel-powered Leon was hit with a restriction that limited the maximum turbo pressure on the car to 2.5 bar, with a variable tolerance to be established on a race by race basis depending on the atmospheric pressure and temperature on each race weekend.
That variable tolerance was removed following the Moroccan race weekend and resulted in a disastrous performance for the works cars in qualifying on the streets of Pau, where Rickard Rydell was the quickest SEAT driver down in 15th place.
By contrast, the leading petrol-powered Independent SEAT of Tom Coronel qualified third on the grid.
“It is impossible to race like this,” SEAT Sport team manager Antonio Rodriguez said.
Such is the anger within the SEAT team over the ruling, the Spanish outfit revealed that it was now considering its future plans, although it will contest the two events in France as part of its 'commitment to the WTCC'.
"From their racing debut, more than 30 years ago, SEAT has complied with and respected all technical and sporting regulations of the FIA," the SEAT team statement read. "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.
"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."
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