Seat Cupra - title subject to appeal

Richmond based Robert Lawson made his 15th visit to the podium of the 2008 SEAT Cupra season at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit yesterday, Sunday, 21st September, but the destiny of the championship title remains undecided with the outcome of the Silverstone event three weeks ago still subject to appeal.The Bardon Aggregates and Bardon Concrete supported racer, who has been a genuine revelation this year at the wheel of his 300bhp SEAT, headed into this weekend’s action at the Kent venue leading the title race by 21 points, albeit with the threat of a 25 point penalty hanging over him due to a contested judicial decision from the previous meeting.As it now stands, following the 19th and 20th rounds of the season, Robert has a points total of 320 which sees him 19 points clear in the title race and, theoretically, in a position to be crowned 2008 SEAT Cupra Champion – the last ever following the news SEAT is pulling out of UK motorsport now the current season has been concluded.However, should a penalty served against Robert at Silverstone three weeks ago for off-set camber on one of his wheels, which was caused by an impact with a kerb on track, go against him, the category rookie will end the season as championship runner-up.Alongside his podium from the first of Sunday’s races, the JHR Developments driver also achieved a fourth place result during round 20 which proved to be a very static race with little in the way of overtaking. Qualifying in fourth position, Robert stayed there for the duration of the encounter.“We came to Brands Hatch with very high expectations but the weekend got off to an absolutely horrendous start in testing on Friday as we only managed two laps due to a problem with the differential on the car”, said Robert, “The first time I really got to drive the car properly was in qualifying and that’s critical at a circuit like this.“The first session went ok, just missed pole position, but fourth was the best we could manage in second qualifying which wasn’t good enough. It was the lowest I’ve qualified all year but, at the same time, I’d had the least amount of practice on Friday.“All in all, a second and a fourth isn’t too bad at all considering the start we had to the weekend. At worst we’ve finished second in the championship but if the appeal over the Silverstone penalty goes our way, we’ll win the title. It’s a shame it’s come down to this but the decision against us at Silverstone was wrong, it’s as simple as that.”Starting on pole position for round 19, Robert led away but after receiving a tap to the rear of his car at Druids Hairpin, he was lucky to hold his machine and the delay allowed Martin Byford through into the lead. After a short Safety Car period, Robert then soaked up intense pressure from third placed Adam all the way to the chequered flag.He added: “Ideally we were going for a win in the first race but when I got the tap at Druids on lap one, I was very lucky to hold the car in all honesty. From then it was a case of getting my elbows out of the windows to keep Jonathan (Adam) behind me! “It’s been a good season and, whatever the outcome of the appeal, we should be happy with what we’ve all achieved. Massive thanks go to the guys at JHR for their work throughout the year and also to my sponsors Bardon Concrete and Bardon Aggregates who have made it possible for me to go racing this year.”Whether or not Robert ends up being crowned 2008 SEAT Cupra Champion, one of the highlights of the year will come next week at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire where he will test a SEAT Leon TDI touring car, as raced this year in the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship by Jason Plato.Provisional 2008 SEAT Cupra Championship Driver Standings:1st Robert Lawson, 320pts; 2nd Jonathan Adam, 301pts; 3rd Martin Byford, 285pts

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