QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE
FIA WTCR RACE OF
Guia, 15-18 November 2018
WTCR – FIA World
Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO, Rounds 28-30 of 30
Rob Huff, Sébastien Loeb Racing, DHL Pole Position
Esteban Guerrieri, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, second position
Norbert Michelisz, BRC Racing Team, third position
Thed Björk, YMR, DHL Pole Position Award winner
Starting with Rob Huff, a dramatic lap, a bit of your car remains on
the track but you were in sensational form. Just how good was that lap?
It was more dramatic inside than outside I can assure you! It’s my girlfriend’s
first time in Macau so sorry for giving you a heart attack honey! Well
done to everyone here. For me this is the toughest track in the world,
anyone who is sitting here who has done well and to survive the
pressure of the one-lap qualifying system here, it’s intense. The lap
times show we were all a bit off what we could potentially do. I just
managed to survive. My engineer asked me if I wanted to know the lap
times as people were doing them and of course I said yes. I knew the
lap time that was currently pole was quite achievable but then the
nerves and the pressure kicks in and you make a few mistakes, you take
it a bit too easy in one sector and you have to push in the next as you
saw. We clipped the wall and at that point it could have been over. But
I’m just so pleased for my Sébastien Loeb Racing team, for Volkswagen,
just brilliant. To come here to finish the season on a high after
winning in Japan and coming here getting two poles. Regardless of what
happens in the races Macau is Macau, it’s a huge lottery. But to come
here and have the speed that we’ve had is testament to the hard work of
the team so thanks.
Turning next to Esteban Guerrieri, it wasn’t quite the DHL Pole
Position yet again but your performances over the season means you have
the best qualifying average of all the WTCR OSCARO drivers so
congratulations for that. But after missing out on pole is there an
element of frustration perhaps?
Yeah, sitting on the right of Rob but congratulations to him. He’s the
King of Macau and I have to improve in the next years. But it was very
much fun, actually I really enjoyed driving today to the limit trying
to find the edge. As Rob said sometimes you are a little bit more,
sometimes a little bit less with some mistakes, it’s really difficult
to put it all together. In the end to be honest I am a little bit
disappointed because I haven’t a pole position the whole season and I
was very much looking forward to this one, actually this one today
because I celebrated a bit too early in [First Qualifying] and of
course I didn’t know about [Huff’s] time. But I really wanted this one.
It’s quite ironic I have the best qualifying average but without the
pole. It feels a little bit sweet and sour but in the end I am happy
and tomorrow this is going to be a good fight.
Coming next to Norbert Michelisz. Now today has been a day of mixed
fortunes for the BRC Racing Team, you’re here in third position but
your team-mate Gabriele Tarquini, the title leader, his car ended up in
the barriers. Do you have any information about what happened to him
and can you also talk us through your qualifying lap?
To be honest, no. At one point I just saw him not any more in the
mirrors. I knew I had to go for it because I was outside the top 12. I
knew I had the car to compete today but I didn’t talk to him or to the
team about what happened. Maybe it was a small mistake because you know
around here it’s just so easy like it happened to me. You misjudge by a
few [kilometres per hour] and one small thing and you end up in the
barriers. Unfortunate for him, unfortunate for the team, I’m really
sorry for them. On the other hand, for me I think it was the maximum.
We struggled a bit since yesterday with having the car in the window,
especially the front… I’m not really confident with the front tyres,
the strange feedback for me, I’m not as confident as in previous years
so finishing third shows we did steps in the right way but I hope
something more will come for the races tomorrow. But I really would
like to says congrats to Rob and also Esteban. I was sitting like
Esteban in P2 last year and I really thought, okay, this time I can
have pole position. But what Rob is doing is just amazing. I don’t know
if you can give some lessons, please Rob?!
You’re not my team-mate!
Anyway, congratulations guys.
Finally, we come to Thed Björk, the reigning World Touring Car
champion. There will be more recognition of your achievement on Sunday
but for now you have scored the most DHL pole positions of all this
season, six in all, so congratulations. Could you comment on that but
also a word about your team for what they did to repair your car in
time for Second Qualifying.
It was really good. It’s so easy to go wrong here in Macau, it’s such a
tough circuit like Rob said. The team was fighting really hard to get
it back from the first qualifying but we did, we managed to go out, but
it was really hard to feel the grip. I’m just really happy they put the
car together, I’m fighting now because I’m 13 and Gabriele is 14 so we
will have a good fight until Sunday. It feels nice to sit here. Next
year I would like to be challenging Rob. What he does here is fantastic
and I would like to enjoy this moment and have this as a picture for my
Can I have some of your pole positions please?
You have the best average Esteban but it’s always nice to get the pole.
I would exchange the average for the poles!
For sure I’m confirmed for next year. We have a new car coming for next
year, Lynk & Co, a Chinese brand. I’m really happy with that and
we’ll be coming here to fight for a Chinese brand so I’m really happy