Monday, May 05, 2008

Checking in with WTCC and Supercopa in Spain

The Mexican event of the FIA World Touring Car Championship resulted in a complete triumph for SEAT, which Jaime Puig, SEAT Sport director, described as “the best day ever for SEAT.”

After claiming pole position on Saturday with Jordi Gené, the Spanish manufacturer monopolised the top positions in both races.

Gené dominated the first one, being followed by Rickard Rydell who secured a 1-2 finish to SEAT Sport. The second race, in which Tiago Monteiro claimed his first WTCC victory, was annihilated by the León cars (including Tom Coronel's petrol-powered TFSI) that filled the top six places, something never seen before in the championship.

SEAT Sport drivers and their turbo-diesel machines have won all the four races held so far and therefore is no surprise to find them on top of the Drivers' Championship. Rydell (the only one of them who still has to win a race) leads with 26 points, followed by Gabriele Tarquini (24) and Yvan Muller (22). Gené lies fourth (15) and Monteiro sixth (12), with BMW's reigning world champion Andy Priaulx in–between (14).

Chevrolet tried to hold the yellow tide back and partially succeeded in qualifying, when Nicola Larini nearly stole pole position from Gené, and in the first race, with Larini finishing third, the first podium result of the season for the team. But in the second race Alain Menu, on pole on the reverse grid, could not resist the charge of the “SEAT Brigade”.

Puebla is definitely a circuit that suits better the front-wheel-drive cars. And this was proved once again by the troubles the BMW drivers met in chasing the SEAT and Chevrolet cars. Eventually Priaulx managed to finish eighth in the second race, scoring BMW's only point of the weekend.

...meanwhile over in Spain the Scalextric (...SCX to most of us) sponsored car is near the top of the standings in the Supercopa.

1. Oscar Nogués, 31 - Team Scalextric!

2. Antonio de la Reina, 30

3. Lourenço Beirao, 28

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