Pau: Tiago Monteiro weekend summary
New WTCC rules change SEAT performance An unprecedented experience for Monteiro "The dream life of cities" is the slogan of the town of Pau in (France), that accommodated the fourth round of the World Touring Car Championship this weekend. But ...
New WTCC rules change SEAT performance
An unprecedented experience for Monteiro
"The dream life of cities" is the slogan of the town of Pau in (France), that accommodated the fourth round of the World Touring Car Championship this weekend. But instead of a dream, Tiago Monteiro and the entire SEAT Sport team lived through a strange experience that turned into a full blown nightmare. In his entire Motorsport career, the Portuguese driver has never been confronted with the unusual of a change in regulations, imposed only the day before a race meeting and relating to only one team. The modification of the technical regulations was drawn up to be like a barrier between the SEAT Sport drivers and a good performance. Therefore Tiago was left to cross the finish line of the first race down in 11th place while the second event was particularly confusing with four incidents, one of which involved the safety car.
For Tiago, the weekend saw a succession of disillusionment and the proof that if the conditions remain the same, it will be impossible to even think about winning. "The last few days have been very frustrating. Nobody found nor gave any justification to this rule change. For me as well as for the other four drivers of the SEAT Leon TDI, it was like driving another car. We have 40cv less which means we lost around two seconds per lap. In both races we found out that we could only count on special circumstances to secure any points. The best we can hope for is middle field. I think that with this new situation, SEAT will reconsider their future. But we will have to wait and see over the next few days in order to find out the team's decision" explained the SEAT Leon TDI no.5 driver.
With no incidents disturbing the first race, it showed that the new variations in performance of the five SEAT Leon TDI's were dominated by their colleagues that were using normally aspirated engines. In just two weeks, and in particular after the demotion of Tiago in Morocco, SEAT Sport have suddenly lost any chance to defend their driver and manufacturer titles.
In Pau, with the new zero tolerance of turbo power, the team was forced to reduce the power of its engines, which has seriously affected the performance from all its drivers. Before this, 15 drivers were within a second but from now on, the SEAT Leon TDI will need to add two seconds per lap to their times.
The next WTCC race weekend will take place in two weeks in Valencia (Spain) on the 30th and 31st of May while the 9th and 10th races will take place on the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. SEAT Sport is still at the head of the drivers and manufacturers championship, but they know that the situation will change very soon if these new regulations are maintained.