Jun 25, 2013
Youngsters at Gateshead
College looking to get on track for a career in the automotive industry have received a huge boost to their learning experience by the donation of a
SEAT Leon by a local car retailer.
Pole position: Students with the Leon
donated by Pulman SEAT.
Around 100 students are now
in pole position to follow their dreams after honing their skills in
diagnostics and electrical work on the Leon TDI handed over by Sunderland-based
The SEAT Leon donated in
2010 has already helped hundreds of students during their studies. Now students
at the Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics
at Team Valley are ready to embark on a ‘labour of love’ which will result in
the two-year-old car being transformed into a working replica of the race car
that powered SEAT to back-to-back World Touring Car Championship Manufacturer
titles in 2008 and 2009 and won the drivers’ title for both Gabriele Tarquini
and Yvan Muller.
The students also have their sights set on
entering the modified version – complete with the WTCC Leon’s eye-catching
yellow and green livery - into competitive touring car races with the help of
partners from Tornado Motorsport.
Gavin Batie, Curriculum
Operations Manager for Automotive at Gateshead College, said: “We want students
to work on something that is true to life so to receive this car from Pulman
SEAT provides them with an excellent opportunity. It’s been a very valuable
The students will work on the car at the College's £5.5 million purpose built training facility, complete with professional spray booths, rolling road, workshops and driving simulators.
Dean Thorne, 16, and Nathan Hewitt,
17, who both want to pursue careers as race mechanics, are two of the students
who will help transform the Leon.
Dean said: “I am looking
forward to working on the car and race preparing it. It’s a great learning
And Nathan added: “We have a
fantastic chance to work with a great car.”
Natalie Wilson, Marketing
Manager at Pulman SEAT, said: “There is a huge pool of talent at the college
and we thought if we donated the car it would help them fulfil their potential.
The car came from a supply of fully-functional cars which couldn’t be
registered for the roads for a variety of reasons.
“We have enjoyed forging
strong links with Gateshead College and are looking at ways of building on this in the future.”