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MUNDIAL - WTCR - CHINA 2

Sexta, 05 Outubro 2018 08:36 | Actualizado em Quinta, 09 Janeiro 2020 15:27



FIA WTCR RACE OF CHINA-WUHAN
Wuhan International Street Circuit, 5-7 October 2018
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO, Rounds 22-24 of 30

 

 
WTCR OSCARO representatives in attendance:
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, WTCR OSCARO promoter
Thed Björk, YMR
Denis Dupont, Audi Sport Team Comtoyou
Ma Qing Hua, Boutsen Ginion Racing
Timo Scheider, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
 
Q:
What are your first impressions of the Wuhan track and how important is it to be racing in China’s car manufacturing hub?
 
FR:
As I am sure you will agree, everybody who has been here over the last three days will have been impressed with the set up of the paddock and the newly resurfaced track. So firstly I would like to congratulate CAMF and the local authorities of Wuhan for all they have done to put on such an event for the WTCR. But it’s more than an event, it’s a festival of motorsport with eight championships involved and practically every category on four wheels in China in action during the Golden Week celebrations here in Wuhan. Putting on a street race is the most difficult exercise for an organiser and promoter, particularly during Golden Week when suppliers and contractors are not freely available, but I hope this festival becomes an iconic motorsport event in China and attracts international interest for years to come. For the fans this festival offers everything, with racing, drifting, stunts and even music concerts. I hope it will be very popular event this weekend. As promoter of the WTCR we are happy to give this event and Wuhan strong international exposure. Many people outside China have heard of Wuhan because of the car manufacturing industry, but it’s not as widely known as Beijing and Shanghai. The world-wide coverage the WTCR will bring this event will help to put Wuhan further on the map. We were very disappointed when we found out very late in the day that the Saturday and Sunday at Ningbo would be working days due to the Golden Week holidays and would result in such a low spectator attendance. It was embarrassing for our teams to race in these conditions and I apologise for this. But Ningbo did produce plenty of action on track and the WTCR comes to Wuhan with the top three drivers in the championship separated by nine points. I wish everybody a good event at Wuhan and look forward to see that street circuit in action with best international touring car drivers on the grid. 
 
Q:
Turning to Thed Björk, after winning twice in Ningbo having claimed two pole positions, are we going to see another dominant performance from you this weekend or will you give somebody else a chance here in Wuhan?
 
TB:
First of all, it’s nice to be here. I am very impressed coming to Wuhan to see the street circuit you have made here. It’s very nice, very smooth with a lot of effort going into it, as François said. So it feels fantastic and, for me, going from a really good event in Ningbo, for sure it’s not easy to repeat with all these fast drivers that we have here. I will do my best to do this but for sure they will try to beat me.
 
Q:
Now Thed you’re not just a driver because the other night you were helping your team unload the freight from the Ningbo race, even driving a forklift truck when I didn’t even realise you had a forklift truck driver’s licence?
 
TB:
I grew up with trucks and cranes, mobile construction cranes was my life before I started motor racing. It was very easy and very fun to help the team. It was probably more intense than in Race 3 with the trucks.
 
Q:
Turning next to Timo Scheider, the double DTM champion no less. One week ago you’d never raced in WTCR or driven a front-wheel-drive car. Now you’re preparing for your second event but what was your debut weekend actually like?
 
TS:
First of all, I have to say I got a warm welcome from everyone in the paddock so thanks for this. I’m still the new kid on the block, still learning a lot. Ningbo was my first taste and I guess they treat me quite right in the race I guess and the rest is down to me. I have to improve myself step by step and this is what I am doing actually now. The learning curve is still quite steep and this is what I am trying to do this weekend as well.
 
Q:
What did you think of the level of the WTCR drivers – you’ve obviously done so many races during your career?
 
TS:
The competition is really hard and super-close. I did not expect the level as I saw it and found it in Ningbo. But honestly somehow I expected it would be hard for me anyway because joining any championship in the world in the middle of the season you’re not ending up somewhere in the front. But I have to say the competition we have in WTCR is really, really high. I’m aiming for points and step by step probably in to the top five but let’s see. I’ll try to give these guys a hard time and that will be hard anyway.
 
Q:
Turning next to Denis Dupont, coming off the back of an amazing weekend in Ningbo where you scored your first podium having worked so hard since the start of the season, what did that feel like to be on the podium in the WTCR?
 
DD:
Of course it was a good moment, a good moment for the team because we’ve been working hard since the beginning of the season but the luck was not always on our side. But after a very good summer for us where we worked a lot on the car finding small stuff, we could do a very good weekend. There was the podium but the whole weekend has been very good with a good pace and that was most important.
 
Q:
There’s obviously been no time for you to return to Belgium since Ningbo so what have you been doing during the last few days in Wuhan?
 
DD:
I stayed mostly with the team, helping a little bit with the unloading and so on. But I didn’t do much, a little bit Ningbo, a little bit Wuhan, I didn’t go to Shanghai like Timo for instance. I stayed with the team the whole time.
 
Q:
Turning next to China’s Ma Qing Hua, now with the experience of one WTCR weekend under your belt what can you do here in Wuhan?
 
MQH:
Well first of all I’m very happy to be here in Wuhan. Last weekend is my first race in the WTCR and for sure it’s very hard and very challenging weekend for me. For the learning procedure it’s quite so far, so well, I’m learning quickly but for sue the races are not the same and last weekend was a bit unlucky for me because of the damaged car. It’s more confident for me now because I have more knowledge of and more mileage in these cars and of course to compete with those drivers I hope this weekend we can have a better starting point. Of course this track looks like it will be more challenging for the race, there’s much overtaking points and a lot of things can happen. I hope we can enjoy the race together and fight together.
 
Q:
Only Rob Huff has prior experience to Wuhan and that was before it’s modification for this year so what knowledge do you have of the track, have you managed to do some track walks and what do you think of the layout?
 
MQH:
It’s pretty much like a wide street circuit. This one has more overtaking opportunity. For the race it will be very tight and I think we have to be careful. The track improvement will be quite a big step so we have to look after session by session. But after the FP sessions I can tell more to you.
 
Questions from the floor:
 
Liang Hanwen, China Grand Motorsports to Thed Björk:
 
Q:
What’s your strategy for a street race, survival or just flat out?
 
TB:
I’m second in the points, it’s very close and I got a lot of points in Ningbo but coming to a street circuit really you have to get as much points as you can because it’s so touch in the races. Obviously it will be flat out in qualifying where you can repair the car for the race. But in the race you also have to be clever on a street circuit I think. It will be very, very tough to get the points here but it’s the same for everybody. I think the track is really good for overtaking from what I have seen and I guess it will be very good racing.
 
Liang Hanwen, China Grand Motorsports to Timo Scheider:
 
Q:
We’re at a karting track for the press conference so what can you advise to young drivers looking at coming into the sport – would it be karting?
 
TS:
For sure karting is always the best school you can do and I did it myself for a long time. In terms of racing this is the best you can give a kid on their way to motor racing. But in the end of the day there are several ways to grow up and find the right direction depending in their ideas and their future ideas and what thoughts their fathers and families have sometimes, which can be the way. But for sure WTCR is good for upcoming racing drivers because driving a front-wheel car is for sure something completely different but get used to it and enjoy.

 

FIA WTCR Media Centre


FIA WTCR Media Centre


FIA WTCR Media Centre


 

FIA WTCR Media Centre


FIA WTCR Media Centre


FIA WTCR Media Centre


 


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