In a rare treat for us we have a WTCC gallery from Hungary. We have paired it with some driver parings – the race, a 1st win for Bennani is noteworthy
“If you asked me one time which race I’d win in my career, I’d never thought I’d win in rain conditions but it’s happened today and I’m very happy. I tried to manage a good start, I take a little gap and this gave me more confidence to drive consistently and this is what I tried to do. But in the condition like this you have to be brave to stay on the track. A lot of time I was a little bit close to going out of the track but it’s like this. We are driving against the best drivers in the world so we need to drive to the limit. The last three or four laps I tried to manage my gap and take my win here. It was very close the last race [in Slovakia] but this time it was for us.”
“Despite a setup designed to penalise the reigning World Championship team, we have proved that the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC remains the best car in the competition. I don’t attribute a lot of importance to the result of the opening race, which is far too artificial to reflect the real pecking order. But the performance of Pechito Lopez in the main race is reward for the efforts put in by the whole team over the winter. It’s hugely satisfying to be on top of the Drivers’ World Championship and with a bit more luck we could also have led the Manufacturers’ standings. It’s going to be a tough weekend in Slovakia, but after that we should be back competing on equal terms with our rivals.”
“I took a few risks at the start of the main race and I was happy to find myself out in front, ahead of Yvan. The weight difference with the other cars was just too big, and that’s what allowed Tiago to go past Yvan and gain ground on me. The last few laps were intense. My tyres were about as worn as they can get, and it wasn’t easy to stay in front. I managed to go through Signes quickly, which earned me a bit of breathing space. Once again, a massive ‘well done’ to Citroën! We knew it was going to be difficult, but we leave here with our heads held high and leading the World Championship.”
José María López
“For sure, another podium for us is great for the team, though I had mixed feelings about the race one result. I have to be happy with the podium and being there at the end to salvage a result, but I made mistakes on a track that was like driving on eggs. It was so slippery and every mistake cost you a lot of time.
“Colder temperatures and more standing water made race two difficult for the LADA Vesta. I was looking in my mirrors the entire time and it was impossible to defend with steamed-up windows. In the end I got a very harsh drive-through for missing the chicane. I would have had a couple of points without that. Anyway, it’s a positive weekend for the team and I look forward to Marrakesh!”
“I’m happy to have achieved everything I wanted to do, namely two podiums in the WTCC Trophy and one podium overall. I was hoping for a change in fortune after another unlucky qualifying, and obviously I wanted to fight for victory in Race 1. Anyway, I couldn’t have dreamt for a better end thanks to a 1-2 finish with Mehdi. The second race was a lot wetter, the conditions were very tricky and it was extremely hard to find the perfect racing line, very different from the first round. In a few laps I was able to adapt my driving style and to go faster or slower, depending on the conditions. We’ve secured some solid points and I won my first victory of the season in the WTCC Trophy. It was a perfect weekend for us and I’m now looking forward to the next race in Marrakech. I don’t know the new circuit, but I’ve always loved the country and I’ve got good results there in the past. Let’s try to continue the momentum we’ve gathered in Hungary.”
“The main thing is to be focused on me and the team to work well. We have to work together. I have to improve my feeling in the car and to improve my performance throughout the season.”
“It’s huge disappointment. It’s the most important weekend by far and it’s very bad when these things happen. I had a feeling it would be like this, it’s difficult to explain. I’ve had very nice memories from the Hungaroring, it’s always had a very special place in my heart. I dreamed to be on the podium and there’s always a chance in the second race if we can have the car repaired.”
“I had an awesome race. I missed testing on Friday, had to start last in the first race and then had to fight an extremely slippery track. To crown the weekend by being so close to a podium finish feels very rewarding. But now I am going to go home and become a father!”
I enjoyed the extra speed afforded by the Hungaroring’s freshly laid asphalt in the dry practice and qualifying sessions and I have to praise the circuit for doing such a great job; it’s no small feat to refresh the circuit so extensively with a brand new surface and revised kerbing, and to get it all done ready for the WTCC’s arrival was impressive.
Steve Sziklai April 2016
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