Speed Week: Honda Civic BTCC vs Seat Leon Cup
Take a regular hatch, add slicks, wings and attitude, then go racing. Also works with estates
Posted: 04 Aug 2014
Reality sometimes gets skewed at Speed Week. I mean, it's enough of a head-scrambler that we have both the P1 and 918 at our beck and call for a week, but down at the far end of the pitlane an entire touring car team is hanging out. There are laptops and air jacks, tyres by the score, neatly pressed team uniforms and talk of scrubbing in and diff settings. This is Honda Yuasa Racing. They've won 22 BTCC titles. Matt Neal is here, and so is his car. Which
is an estate. Ace.
If that weren't eye-rubbing enough, next to it sits another chunk of hardcore hatchery, the Seat Leon Cup Racer. You can buy one of these for £75,000 if you so wish, and if you spent a chunk more on it, I suspect you could make it road-legal. Or head in the other direction and compete in world touring cars. Or leave it as a bonkers track-day weapon. Seat says it's 30 per cent roadcar, but the only bit I recognise inside is the DSG gearlever. It looks worryingly incongruous.
It seems odd that just about every car in the pitlane produces more power and will later get a chance to prove it by hammering these two in a straight line. Corners, though, are another matter altogether. And not an entirely straightforward one. You see, one of these behaves as you'd imagine a touring car to behave. The other doesn't. The only thing predictable about it is its unpredictability.
Words: Ollie Marriage
Photography: Rowan Horncastle