SEAT UK's new Director, Peter Wyhinny, has taken the hands-on approach to the extreme ' by testing a fully race-prepared Leon touring car on one of the UK's fastest circuits.
But Peter is no ordinary company chief. He became hooked on motorsport after showing admirable skill on corporate days out and soon took to racing karts. Four years ago, while in his previous role as Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, he developed the Caddy TDI Racer ' a vehicle he will continue to pilot for the remainder of this year's Volkswagen Racing Cup.
Peter completed eight laps of Snetterton's high-speed circuit in one of the Leon Cupra Rs which raced in the 2006 Blaupunkt SEAT Cupra Championship, before switching to the all-new Leon. The stunning yellow car, complete with revolutionary Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), is currently being evaluated for introduction into the SEAT Cupra Championship in 2007. This was why SEAT Sport UK's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) driver Darren Turner was also at Snetterton, though for Peter this also gave him a unique opportunity to compare his circuit driving performance against a former F1 test pilot.
Peter said: "Both Leons are fantastic, although the new Leon felt more stable and easier to drive. It's a wonderfully fast and well balanced car, which has a lot more capability than I'm able to get out of it.
"My best lap time was 1.7 seconds slower than Darren's, which may appear very flattering, but in motor racing terms you can measure the difference between us with a calendar! Of course I wasn't pushing too hard ' but hard enough to experience what the car is potentially capable of while having a lot of fun at the same time.
"We should have a manufacturers' challenge, where the MDs race their vehicles," added Peter. "Let's see the bosses put their products to the test. There, the gauntlet is down!"
Darren said: "Peter has obviously done a fair bit of racing before and is quite an accomplished driver. Although we weren't concentrating on lap times, he was very quick and a lot closer to my times than I'd imagined he would be. He might be after my job ' and as he's the Director of SEAT UK, I don't fancy my chances if he really wants it!"
For more information contact:
Mike Orford, Head of Press and Public Relations 01908 548077
Paul Evans, SEAT Motorsport 07710 743167
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