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SEAT Sport UK begins to evaluate new Leon
New Managing Director tests new Leon Super Copa
Technical Features of SEAT Leon Super Copa 2007
Exclusive behind the scenes SEATCupra.net insight!
SEATCupra.net was invited to the first testing EVER of the new Leon Super Copa on UK turf a couple of weeks back. Sworn to secrecy over details, but we have exclusive images, two press releases & some techical information & detailled images.
SEAT Sport UK’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship driver Darren Turner gave the new SEAT Cupra Championship Leon its first official UK outing when he tested the car at Snetterton on Friday (June 23rd ).
The test was the first of many planned to evaluate the new Leon for introduction into SEAT’s one-make saloon car racing series for aspiring young touring car drivers in 2007. In hot and sunny conditions, and with air temperatures hitting 27°C, the new Leon completed 67 trouble-free laps of the fast 1.952 mile Norfolk circuit.
The team concentrated mainly on testing tyres, with a selection of potential control tyre compounds being put through their paces. The 130 mile session, which took place during a busy general test day, included two unbroken 14 lap runs, simulating a full race distance. The new Leon has been built by SEAT Sport in Barcelona and the stunning yellow car is the first one to arrive at SEAT Sport UK’s workshop in Northampton.
SEAT UK will have the car on display on its stand at the British International Motor Show, which takes place at London ExCel (July 20-30). By then, SEAT Sport UK will have taken delivery of a second Spanish-built new Leon, with which it will continue its evaluation test programme.
Darren said: “The new Leon is a fantastic looking high-performance car – I can imagine a full grid would be a very exciting race to watch. It has an excellent fifty-fifty weight distribution, so it handles very well, and I was actually surprised by the amount of mechanical and aero grip it has, which makes it a relatively easy car to drive very fast. Acceleration is excellent, there is no turbo-lag whatsoever, the brakes are very good and because it’s based on a road car which has a superb chassis the racing version is phenomenal though the corners.
From a driver’s point of view, one of the big differences between this and the current Leon Cupra R SEAT Cupra Championship car is its paddle-shift semi-automatic gearbox. It’s obviously completely different to the current H-patterned gearbox and whilst it might take some drivers a little bit of time to get used to at first, it is very rewarding. This really is an out and out racing car, and the whole package gives you a lot of confidence straight away.”
Scott Dennis, SEAT UK Motorsport Manager, said: “SEAT Sport has done a magnificent job in developing the new Leon for racing, and the build quality is fantastic. We know the car makes for exciting racing because it has already been introduced into the Spanish and German SEAT Cupra Championships, and we are evaluated the car in the UK with the aim of introducing it into the 2007 SEAT Cupra Championship.
This evaluation test programme has only just begun, and we cannot be more pleased with the new Leon’s reliability and performance. We wanted to come to Snetterton to do some quiet testing, but the car caused a real stir in the paddock and we were thrilled by the positive comments of the people who saw it in action for the first time.”
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