25 years since the first world title of the Seat Ibiza Kit Car

On November 25, 1996 Harri Rovanperä and Erwin Webber finished in fourth and fifth place at the Rally Great Britain, which gave Seat its first world title.

In its long history as a car manufacturer, Seat has always been closely linked to the world of racing. It is in this scenario where the Martorell-based brand has shown its performance, reliability and values ​​around the world. Of all the disciplines in which he has participated, rallies feature prominently.

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Seat’s first appearance in the World Championship was at the 1977 Monte-Carlo Rally, where Antonio Zanini, Salvador Cañellas and Salvador Servià they achieved a historic result in an unforgettable test for motorsport in our country. At the wheel of two Seat 124D Especial 1800, Zanini and Cañellas finished in third and fourth position, while Servià did the same with a seventh place at the controls of 1430/1800.

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After this, 23 years passed until Seat returned to the world rally scene. Thus, in 1995, the Spanish brand made the leap to the recently created 2 Liter FIA World Cup in 1996 with the Seat Ibiza Kit Car, a model adapted to a more affordable regulation than the WRC but equally competitive and spectacular, with front-wheel drive and a two-liter engine that provided 255 hp of power.

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The trophies were immediate and Seat, in its debut, could allow itself to dream of the title. The victory of Jesus “Chus” Pure in Portugal, joined by the podiums of Erwin Weber in the rallies of Monte-Carlo, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, and also of Josep “Mia” Bardolet In Spain, without forgetting the points of Ferrán Font achieved with the Ibiza GTi 16V Gr.N with which he was competing after making the recognitions, they allowed Seat to reach the last appointment of the season with options to win the World Cup.

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Thus, they bet everything for everything in the final appointment of Great Britain. There, after a hard fight and enormous effort, Harri Rovanperä (newcomer to the team) and Erwin Weber finished fourth and fifth in their category respectively, which served Seat to the FIA ​​2-Liter World Cup title in its first year, outperforming brands with much more experience. The goal of the British rally was not the end of that adventure; rather it was the beginning, as Seat returned with more strength and potential in the following two seasons, 1997 and 1998, in which it revalidated the brand title with the evolutions and improvements installed in the Ibiza Kit Car.

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