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Nick Leason and CMS join the SEAT Cupra Championship

Professional racing driver Nick Leason will race a Cube Design-backed Leon Cupra R in this year's Smartnav SEAT Cupra Championship - beginning at Brands Hatch this weekend.

Nick had planned to race in the British Touring Car Championship this year, and while that is still the 36-year old Northampton driver's aim for 2006 he has committed himself to the rest of the 2005 SEAT series.

Having previously raced in the Proton Coupe Cup and the Ford Fiesta Zetec Championship, Nick has a lot of front-wheel drive saloon car experience. While he regards this weekend's two SEAT races as a "dialling in" exercise, he aims to be running inside the top six very soon.

Despite missing the first four rounds of the SEAT Cupra Championship, with 14 rounds remaining and everyone having to drop two scores, a challenge for the title is still possible.

His Leon Cupra R will be run by Northampton-based race team CMS Motorsport. It sees its involvement in the SEAT Cupra Championship as a two-year programme, as it could run the SEAT next year in parallel with its own BTCC team, using the SEAT Cupra Championship as a tried and tested "feeder" for a young up-and-coming driver.

Nick said: "We have been working hard to get into the British Touring Car Championship, but that's not going to happen this year so as the SEAT Cupra Championship is such an impressive package that we decided to do the next best thing. Hopefully with the experience I've got we'll be able to dial into the car quickly and be on the pace in the second half of the series."

Malcolm Cleland of CMS Motorsport said: "We're completely chilled out, laid back and realistic about our prospects for Brands Hatch, because it's basically going to be a test session for us. We're very pleased to be in the series because it's a sensible environment in which to go racing and to showcase what we can do. It will take us a couple of race meetings to get dialled in and on the pace, but with Nick's record and driving ability I think we'll soon be challenging in the top six."

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