SEAT’s Gabriele Tarquini has indicated that the Chevrolets are almost uncatchable this weekend, believing that with their impending departure from the WTCC, all restrictions have been taken off of the cars.
Tarquini had spoken out at the last round in Portugal about the performance gap between SEAT and Chevrolet, and that he believed Chevrolet were not running at their full potential at the Portimão circuit.
At Portugal, Tarquini had taken pole position and finished second in the first race behind Yvan Muller, after Chevrolet had dominated three weeks earlier at the Salzburgring with a top three lockout in race one and looked set to repeat the feat in race two before all three of the team’s cars suffered with tyre punctures.
“At the Salzburging I was not able to follow the slipstream of these cars,” said Tarquini. “I lost 100m on the straight, and in this race (Portimao) I was able to follow them – so something is strange, as I have the same engine so my performance is the same, so I think they are playing with the engine.”
“And I speak from experience because with SEAT, we used to do this,” added Tarquini, referring to when SEAT Sport were the dominant force in 2008-2009 with the turbo-diesel engine. “The performance was sometimes very strong and so sometimes we didn’t use the full potential of the engine.”
After free practice two, where for the third consecutive session the three RML-run Chevrolets locked out the top three spots in practice, Tarquini believes Chevrolet are no longer playing games.
“Now they don’t have any political play as now they can use full power any time because I’m sure they want to win every race until the end of the season,” said Tarquini to Eurosport. “This is the real gap.”