I admit it – I’m not a big fan of Seat cars, nor their race teams and I am definitely not a Jason Plato fan… but I am stunned and disgusted by their almost cavalier announcement this week that they are quitting the British motorsports scene straight after the BTCC finale on the 21st September.
This means the end of Seat as a works team in the BTCC as well as the end of the pretty exciting Seat Cupra Cup support series which has been used by youngsters, wannabes and BTC “rejects” for the past few years and is always a laugh to watch, with some good racing as a bonus.
Now what really disgusts me – and yes, that is the right word as this affects a lot of people who work and race for the company – is the fact that the announcement has been made so late. The drivers heard about it on the same day as the rest of the world (incidentaly Plato was only one year into a 3 year deal with the team – breach of contract perhaps???) and the crews and all drivers will now be faced wondering what on earth they will do next.
Darren Turner has said he’s looking into GT – and good on him, he’s a great driver and I have enjoyed it when he has done well (which is a problem when he beats manufacturers I like)
It’s also a stun as BTCC is going through a major revival recently – it’s got brilliant TV coverage, Alan Gow is running the series really well and the racing and attendances have been getting better and better with each weekend… SO WHY PULL OUT NOW???????
It just doesn’t make sense – just when we thought the heyday of BTCC was about to re-emerge, this comes along and slaps us in the face. We need MORE not less manufacturers… why don’t Ford race their Mondeo against the new Insignia with VW putting the Scirocco in alongside the Accords/Civics of Honda and the Laguna Coupes of Renault with BMW 3 series being pushed all the way by the Toyotas/Lexusesesessss.
Yeah – there’s a credit crunch… our bank balance feels it all the while of late – but this form of marketing is great and hugely entertaining.
Come on manufacturers – open your eyes to the wonders of the British (and indeed – why not the WTCC) racing scene!