SEAT RESUME WHERE THEY HAD FINISHED
SEAT Sport and their León TDI cars annihilated the opposition in Brazil, saying loud and clear that they are determined to retain the Drivers‘ and Manufacturers‘ titles they claimed last year.
Five SEAT drivers on top in the qualifying session, four ahead of the rest in both races: the turbo diesel power is stronger than ever in the WTCC.
The BMW men did their best, but even the weather played against them, providing what are the worst racing conditions for the rear-wheel drive.
The new Chevrolet Cruze has shown flashes of competitiveness, like Menu’s second place in Q1 or Larini’s fourth in Race 1 that was vanished by a penalty.
The LADA cars are not on the pace so far; however they have started reducing their gap from the top and managed to score the first points of a Russian manufacturer in a World Championship.
The championship will resume in Puebla, Mexico, on March 22nd for rounds 3 and 4.
RACE 1 – MULLER BEGINS ON A HIGH NOTE
Reigning champions Yvan Muller and SEAT Sport began the new season in the best way as they dominated the race. Muller led from lights to flag, followed by a trio of team-mates: Jordi Gené, Rickard Rydell and Gabriele Tarquini who finished in the order.
Nicola Larini crossed the line fifth and scored the first points for the new Chevrolet Cruze, while Augusto Farfus and Sergio Hernández were the best of the BMW men. They were classified sixth and seventh, ahead of Tiago Monteiro who claimed pole position for Race 2.
Félix Porteiro won the Independents‘ class after resisting pressure from Tom Coronel in the early stages.
The race was disrupted by the safety car from lap 6 to 9, after Stefano D’Aste crashed at the Esse de Alta.
RACE 2 – TARQUINI LEADS ANOTHER SEAT QUARTET
SEAT encored in Race 2, placing again four drivers in the top four positions.
The race started behind the safety car on a track flooded by a violent thunderstorm, with Félix Porteiro who had inherited pole position after Tiago Monteiro’s penalty.
In the early stages the BMW drivers – Porteiro, Andy Priaulx, Sergio Hernández and Augusto Farfus – set the pace, but soon the SEAT tide became unstoppable.
Gabriele Tarquini, Rickard Rydell, Jordi Gené and Yvan Muller jumped on top to stay, while Porteiro repeated his success in the Independents‘ class.