We’ve recently welcomed a Seat Leon Cupra 280 hot hatch to our fleet of long-term test cars, so the chance to ride shotgun in the Spanish manufacturer’s new Leon-based racing car was an opportunity not to be passed up.

New for this year, the Leon Eurocup is a one-make race series that visits half a dozen of Europe’s top circuits. This weekend the circus pitched up at Silverstone, where we sat alongside Seat test driver Jordi Gené for a flat-out lap.

The striking Leon Cup car looks like an amped-up version of Autocar’s Leon Cupra 280, which is the hottest version of the hatchback currently on sale in the UK. However, the bodywork isn’t just for show; the huge front splitter and rear spoiler provide substantial amounts of downforce.