A group of students from Gateshead College are aiming to recreate SEAT’s legendary World Touring Car Championship-winning car after being given an example of the road-going model on which it was based.
Motorsport students at Gateshead College’s
Skills Academy with the road-going car
they will attempt to transform into a replica
of SEAT’s legendary WTCC winner.
The SEAT Leon TDI was donated to the Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics at Team Valley by the sporty Spanish car maker and its Sunderland retail partner, Pulman SEAT, as part of an initiative to develop young automotive talent.
Now students enrolled on the BTEC National Award/Diploma in Motorsport course will attempt to transform the stylish and poised hatchback – a firm favourite with families – into a working replica of the race car that powered SEAT to back-to-back WTCC Manufacturer titles in 2008 and 2009 and won the Drivers’ title for both Gabriele Tarquini and Yvan Muller.
Meanwhile, bodyshop students will beef-up the road-going
Leon’s looks as their paintshop counterparts recreate the WTCC Leon’s striking yellow and green livery.
And, if all goes well, the college team hopes they may be able to enter the finished car in competitive touring car races with the help of their partners from professional team Tornado Motorsport.
Kevin Marston, Head of Automotive at Gateshead College said: ‘Our courses aim to give our students a direct route into Motorsport and most of them come here because they have a real passion for racing.
‘Transforming this Leon into a replica of the famous WTCC-winning car will be a major project that will keep the students busy for quite some time.  And it will be fantastic for them to work towards recreating such a modern racing car and one which was so successful.
‘We’re incredibly grateful to SEAT UK and Pulman SEAT for this donation.  Hopefully, this will be the start of a successful partnership.’
Natalie Wilson, Marketing Manager, and Emma Brydon,
Graduate Trainee, handing over the SEAT Leon on behalf
of Pulman.
Natalie Wilson, Marketing Manager at Pulman SEAT, said: ‘SEAT had a number of fully-functional cars which couldn’t be registered for the roads for a variety of reasons and decided that, rather than recycling them, it would be far better to offer them to colleges and training providers that could make good use of them.
‘When they approached us and asked us if we could find a worthy recipient in the North East, the Gateshead College Automotive Academy immediately sprang to mind as we were well aware of the fantastic work they do here.
‘Hopefully, this donation will help the students on to fantastic futures in the automotive trade and motorsport, and help the college continue to develop the undoubted potential that exists in this region.’
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