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MUNDIAL - WTCR NA CHINA

Segunda, 01 Outubro 2018 12:44 | Actualizado em Quinta, 13 Agosto 2020 03:21

RACE 1 PRESS CONFERENCE, FIA WTCR RACE OF CHINA-NINGBO
Ningbo International Speedpark, 28-30 September 2018
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO, Rounds 19-21 of 30



 
Present:
Thed Björk, YMR, first position
Esteban Guerrieri, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, second position
Frédéric Vervisch, Audi Sport Team Comtoyou, third position
Ma Qing Hua, Boutsen Ginion Racing, leading local driver
 
Q:
Third victory of the season for you, Thed, and a dominant performance. Just explain how that was possible.
 
TB:
It was a really nice race for me starting from pole. I did a good start, otherwise I would have expected a really hard fight from both Esteban and Frédéric. But I got away clean and built a small gap to Esteban when they were fighting each other and could hold that, so it was a really nice race for me. It’s not easy to lead as well, but I’d rather be there than chasing. I could control the car and the set-up was fantastic. Clearly my car was in the window from first practice all the way through to the race. I’m really happy with the performance.
 
Q:
It’s obviously also good news for your championship prospects, with many more races to come. You are now third in the table, what do you make of your title chances?
 
TB:
That was my goal. When we have such a long summer break and still so many points to fight for, the goal was to get it back as soon as possible, be on the edge and see where I can go. Some of the tracks that are coming are really nice.
 
Q:
Esteban, second today from fourth on the grid shows a lot of fighting spirit. How was it for you?
 
EG:
Well, good afternoon everybody. Congratulations to Frédéric and better luck for tomorrow. My day basically was progressive, getting better and better with fifth in qualifying, then fourth on the grid eventually because of [Gabriele] Tarquini’s penalty. I did a good start, not better than the guy in front, but I managed to pass Norbi into Turn 3. He was trying to make a move around Frédéric, so I just drove into Turn 3 and we were side by side. At the last second I decided to go on the inside of Frédéric at the hairpin. It was on the limit, but he played it very well, so it was a good move. That placed me second, then I had similar pace in the beginning to Thed. I was supposed to save the tyres, the same as him he told me, but then he was just quicker and he pulled away. A good, positive result, but we want more for tomorrow, so let’s try to make it a bit better.
 
Q:
Frédéric, a fifth podium this season having equalled your best qualifying performance earlier. You couldn’t quite hold that second place – what happened to you in the race?
 
FV:
Congratulations to Thed and Esteban for a great race. It’s my fifth podium, so I’m very happy. We’ve found some consistency, so that’s positive. My start was quite okay, but again not better than Thed. Then there was some fighting behind me and I thought I was quite clear, but then Esteban… there was a small traffic jam at the hairpin, maybe I was a bit too careful and there was some small contact but normal things. I lost my position, it was very close, and then one more and one more! So I was quite happy that by the end I could recover a bit. I was quite surprised we could keep a reasonable pace, because that’s a big struggle. At the Slovakia Ring I was struggling very hard with the car on race pace. So I think it’s quite positive for tomorrow so let’s see what we can do again.
 
Q:
Turning to Ma Qing Hua, this is your debut in WTCR OSCARO. Explain your race please.
 
MQH:
It’s my first race here, so I’m working very hard to chase the balance set-up. We were planning to do Race 1 as a big practice for me. Anyway, I did a good start and I think I took one position in Turn 2. I continued, but then after sector one I got several punches in the rear, one really bad one, so I lost the car completely and went off the track, then came back on with a damaged car and tried to finish the race. I understand I’m not fighting for the championship and the other drivers try to get as many positions as they can, but they should be doing it in a professional way. So tomorrow is another day and I hope we can do a better job to have a better race.
 
Q:
A quick final word from Thed Björk. What’s the plan now, celebration time or focus on tomorrow?
 
TB:
I just focus on tomorrow. There are three races per weekend which is fantastic, lots of points for the championship. I have to do something clever or they will beat me tomorrow.

 

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