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Segunda, 25 Novembro 2019 09:00 | Actualizado em Quinta, 06 Agosto 2020 14:10

Four to the fore in Malaysia: WTCR title chasers look ahead to the Sepang super-finale

Norbert Michelisz, Esteban Guerrieri, Yvan Muller and Thed Björk will face-off for the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO at the Sepang International Circuit from 12-15 December. This is what the title-chasing quartet have had to say as they continue on the #RoadToMalaysia.

Norbert Michelisz (Hungary)
Age: 35
Team: BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse
Car: Hyundai i30 N TCR
Points: 316
Position: First

It’s in his hands… “It’s pretty much like I wanted it to be a couple of race weekends ago. This is the very important part of the season and to go to Malaysia with the psychological advantage of leading is better than being behind. But the margin is very small and we are not in a comfortable position. However, it’s in my hands and this is a nice feeling.”

Power not pressure… “The closer the event comes the more you think about the pressure. This season I managed the pressure side pretty well. Honestly, I feel confident and quite powerful and I think we have a very good package for Malaysia.”

Best of the best… “My three rivals have been fighting for championships since a very long time. They are all on top of their game, they are all the best of the best and in the end, you cannot say who is the biggest threat. It’s a new circuit for me and my contenders and if it’s the same for everyone I’m okay with that. Going for the WTCC title in Qatar in 2017 was the most intense day of my life so far but I’m pretty sure Malaysia will top that.”

Esteban Guerrieri (Argentina)
Age: 34
Team: ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport
Car: Honda Civic Type R TCR
Points: 307
Position: Second

Achievement conquered… “It’s an achievement conquered because I wanted to arrive at the last race in the fight. It means we have done a good job during the year and we’ve always been fighting and trying to take all the opportunities possible. I’m proud of my team and Honda of course.”

Sepang spice… “I tested in Sepang at the beginning of the year. The track is cool, it’s a long track and many things can happen with the weather changing there. That will add some spice to the title decider.”

Ready to fight… “Of all the rivals nobody is stronger. Norbi is some points in front of us and has that in his pocket. But they will all be strong and there are three brands in the fight. We will try to be up there and competitive for the final race. Let God decide.”

Yvan Muller (France)
Age: 50
Team: Cyan Racing Lynk & Co
Car: Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Points: 305
Position: Third

Experience counts… “Experience is important, absolutely. I could see in Macau some stress on some rivals. I’ve had this in my career but not now, I have no pressure on my shoulders. I have four titles and one more means I can still do the job correctly.”

China cheers… “There have been ups and downs this season. I lost a lot of points in Marrakech when I was leading but had a mechanical failure. At other circuits I could not score points but the speed was there and in WTCR with 30 races, everything is possible, like we showed in China [when we won two races].”

No knowledge, no problem… “I don’t know Sepang and I give up after 10 laps on the simulator. But we have two practice sessions to learn the track. In Macau I did a pole position and win two races so I am there in the fight and this means a lot.”

Thed Björk (Sweden)
Age: 38
Team: Cyan Racing Lynk & Co
Car: Lynk & Co 03 TCR
Points: 288
Position: Fourth

Fantastic feeling… “It’s a fantastic feeling to be in the chase of the world title again and the year I am not in the title fight means I have done a really bad job. This is where I want to be, this is where I am supposed to be. Having won a world title before takes some pressure off. Let’s go and get it.”

Simulate to accumulate… “We obviously come to new tracks in this championship and we have to adapt as fast as possible and with our simulator we can work together to adapt the cars and the drivers to the track as quickly as possible. Therefore, having not raced at Sepang is not a concern, it’s just more exciting.”

No fear… “I don’t fear anyone actually. In Macau, like during the year, we’ve seen some pretty good standards of driving. I am in it to win it, together with Yvan. We are two, we are stronger as two so let’s see if they fear us.”

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