Jump to content



Recommended Posts

The contents of SEAT Sport UK’s trophy cabinet has been boosted by seven large silver BTCC cups after a great performance at Silverstone today on Rounds 25, 26 and 27 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. All three drivers collected a trophyfor recording a 1st , two 2nds and a 3rd place finish, SEAT won the manufacturers’ award in two races and was presented with another trophy for being the most successful team over the race weekend. James Pickford scored his best BTCC result when he finished 2nd in Round 25, with Jason Plato joining him on the podium in 3rd . Luke Hines was declared the winner of Round 26, his best result in the SEAT Toldeo to date, after Jason Plato was excluded from provisional 1st place after a racing incident.


Starting from 10th on the grid in Round 25, Luke charged to 5th place where he stayed for most of the race until Gareth Howell hit the back of his Toldeo Cupra dislodging his rear bumper and he finally finished in 6th. In Round 26 Luke was lying in 5th behind James nine laps into the race when he accidentally tapped his team-mate, sending him across the gravel. Luke moved up to 3rd where he was able to take advantage of Gareth Howell’s retirement to claim 2nd place and his first BTCC podium with SEAT. He was then later elevated to 1st when Jason was excluded. Luke stored 21 points in the Drivers’ Championship, signaling his best race weekend performance for SEAT and out-scoring his team-mates (James 20pts; Jason 16pts).


James Pickford had an absolutely stunning race weekend to deliver his best BTCC performance to date. He topped the time sheets in the first free practice session, qualified 4th and equaled his best BTCC result by taking 2nd place in Round 25. A rev limiter problem saw him lose position at the start of Round 26 and he was then accidentally tapped into the gravel by Luke, but James managed to recoverand finish 7th giving him a 3rd place grid slot for the final race of the day. Round 27 saw James involved in a four car battle with Dan Eaves, Yvan Muller and Jason. Finding that the balance of his Toldeo Cupra wasn’t quite as good as it had previously been he struggled to find the pace he needed and gradually dropped back to finish in 8th position.


A water pump problem during qualifying saw Jason start Round 25 from 7th on the grid. During the race he set the fastest lap on lap seven and followed that with a strong 3rd place finish. Starting from 3rd in Round 26 Jason overtook team-mate James on the run down to Copse Corner. Jason then chased leader Tom Chilton for four laps before the two touched at the end of the National Straight. Chilton slid sideways and Jason went past closely followed by Gareth Howell. Jason held Howell off for the remaining 14 laps to win the race. A post-race stewards meeting then penalized Jason for his move on Chilton and excluded him from the race. Due to the regulations he started the final race of the day, Round 27, from the back of the grid with his full success ballast of 45 kilos. Jason made the best of the situation to enjoy a close race with Yvan Muller and charge through the field to secure a 6th place finish.


Jason said : “I didn’t mean to touch Chilton in the second race. He was moving a little bit left and we just fractionally touched just before the corner. It’s very similar to the incident involving Yvan Muller and myself at Oulton Park where Yvan tagged me at the back just before the braking area and I went off the track. The stewards didn’t penalise Yvan back then so I don’t understand why they’ve excluded me for this now. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to take on the chin. Ultimately yes I did touch his car but I did get out of the throttle as he came across the front of me, but apparently not enough.”


“I’m pleased with that final race. I was thinking before the start of it that there would be quite a few slow cars about and that it was going to be a case of predicting what they were going to do. I predicted they’d all be on the inside going into Becketts which they were, and so I went around the outside of four or five of them, so it worked well. Then it was just a case of picking people off one by one. To come from the back of the grid to sixth with full ballast is pretty good and I’m really pleased with that. There’s not a lot more I could have done really. I’ve just had a chat with Yvan Muller and we both really enjoyed racing against each other in that race. To be honest it happens a lot that Yvan and I have great races together, it’s just with all the bad press about our relationship no one reports that. It’s nice to have a good race with someone that you know how they drive and vice versa. He saw where I was quick and nicked a couple of my little lines and found a bit of space and I nicked a couple of his lines and it’s really great to be able to do that.


“All in all we’ve had a good weekend. We’ve had good pace in the car and good balance. We’ll have to wait and see what happens at Brands Hatch but it’s been a great result for the team. The lads have worked really hard so it’s good to reward them with some pots and pans.”


James said : “It’s been a really good weekend. I started it by topping the times in the first free practice session which is the first time I’ve ever done that. Then I had my best BTCC qualifying session of the year to secure fourth. The car was magnificent in the first race, the best it’s been all year, and I was able to battle through to second. I even overtook Yvan Muller cleanly and it felt really good. It’s nice to pick another bit of silverware up and be up on the podium with Jason. It’s also very nice to beat Jason - I’m not going to hide that. The second race was difficult; I had a lot of weight on board which made the car very hard to drive. I dropped back through the field and then Luke accidentally tapped me off into the gravel. It was just one of those things and I decided to drop back and go for a better grid position in the final race. In the third race the balance of the car had gone and it was just like driving a rally car. It was seriously hard work and it really took it out of me as I was constantly correcting the car. I’ve shown this weekend that when the car’s right I can do the business and I don’t think anyone can doubt that.”


Luke said : “I struggled during qualifying this weekend so I was really pleased to take a sixth place finish in the first race. From then on things got better and better and I managed to take a win in the second race. It’s a win that doesn’t feel as good because I was awarded it due to Jason being excluded; it’s not the same as crossing the line in first, but at the end of the day a win’s a win and I did give it everything in that race. The third race was when it all went wrong. I let Jason get past me as he’s really good at working his way through the field and so I slotted in behind him to try and get further up the pack with him. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere someone smacked me up the back and wrecked my rear bumper totaling the back of my car. I had to come into the pits as my rear wheel was shredded. The team changed the tyre and I went back out for a couple of laps but the car was undriveable so I retired. I wanted a good final race and I think it could have been as I’m pretty sure I could have got the car into the top six. But I’m happy - I’ve had a win this weekend, I’ve got a lot more confidence and the car seems really good. It’s great for SEAT as the whole team have worked so hard.”


2005 BTCC points (after Round 27)



1.Matt Neal….291pts

2.Yvan Muller….261pts

3.Dan Eaves….238pts

4. Jason Plato….182pts

5.Tom Chilton….175pts

6.Colin Turkington….165pts

7.Rob Collard….154pts

8. James Pickford….97pts

9. Luke Hines….83pts

10. Gavin Smith….63pts

11. James Kaye….46pts




2. SEAT….583pts



1.Team Halfords….534pts

2.VX Racing….428pts

3. SEAT Sport UK….279pts

4.Arena Motorsports….157pts


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...