5 of the 6 WTCC drivers to have a Seat Leon 2.0 TDi for the forthcoming 2010 campaign were present at the Valencia Ricardo Tormo circuit.
Michel Nykjaer and Tom Coronel both had their first experiences in their new car, while Gabriele Tarquini, Tiago Monteiro and Jordi Gene were also present.
Sunred's Chief Engineer Xavi Serra said about the current Danish Touring Car Champion: “On the wet Michel is already on the same level with the top drivers, however on a dry track he still needs to adjust his driving style from a petrol-engined to a turbo diesel car.”
Michel Nykjaer had this to say about the test: “Thanks to the SUNRED team I can benefit from the vast experience of drivers like Gabriele Tarquini, and I already feel myself well prepared for the challenge.”
For Tom, this was his first time in the TDi Seat and he was glad to get the test: “It was very important we did it, otherwise I would arrive at Curitiba and being thrown at the deep end.”
Tom then went on to explain the differences between the Petrol Leon he's used to and the TDi car he'll use in 2010, and he said: “The car doesn't seem fast at all, especially as it produces so little noise compared to the petrol-engine cars. With the diesel engine, you change gear at around 4000 rpm, so much earlier. But still, I pretty soon did a lap time of 1:44.4 that put Tarquini on pole for last year's race at Valencia. So, the lap times are good, and that is what makes you win races”
“The TDI is 30 kg heavier than the petrol engine LeÃ³n I raced in previous years. You really notice that in the balance of the car. Another striking element is the huge amount of torque, especially while accelerating out of the corners. It is like being pushed in the back all the time!”
The WTCC season starts in 2 weeks time at Curitiba, Brazil.