FIA WTCC: Catchup on the Hungaroring and 2017


Yann Ehrlacher has been left in no doubt of the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s high level following the opening two events of the season.

The nephew of WTCC legend Yvan Muller is competing in the WTCC for the first time in 2017 and admits he faces a steep learning curve.

“The WTCC is harder than I imagined at the beginning of the season,” said the RC Motorsport driver. “The car is harder to drive compared to every car I drive in the past. The drivers at the front are really good so if you want to be closer to them and catch them you have to do everything perfectly before, during and after the weekend. You realise it’s a big deal to be a WTCC driver and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a nice series, the organisation is perfect, everything is well done and it’s good for young drivers like me to promote myself in such as series like this.”

Ehrlacher scored his maiden world championship points at WTCC OSCARO Race of Italy last month and is racing at the Hungaroring, venue of WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Hungary, for the first time this weekend.

Nicky Catsburg has vowed to stop Tiago Monteiro winning more races in this season’s FIA World Touring Car Championship.

Five drivers have claimed victory during the first three weekends of the year to underline the wide-open nature of the WTCC in 2017, with Monteiro becoming the first to take a second win in the Opening Race at WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Hungary on Sunday.

However, Polestar Cyan Racing driver Catsburg, who scored his first podium of the campaign with the runner-up spot in the Main Race at the Hungaroring, plans to go one better when the WTCC resumes at the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany next week.

“I’m very happy with P2,” said Catsburg, who climbs to second in the title table behind leader Monteiro. “Our performance was really strong, also compared to the Honda who also had the 80 kilograms [of compensation weight] and we did a very good job for the championship as well. I just we need to beat Tiago for once. When I saw him winning the Opening Race I was, oh no, here he goes again, so hopefully next race we’ll beat him.”

Home prospect Dániel Nagy has vowed to hit back from a disappointing start to his FIA WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Hungary weekend.

Nagy said failing to make it through to Qualifying Q2 had left him frustrated with the Zengő Motorsport driver lining up for the Opening Race in P16 in his older-specification Honda Civic following what the teenager described as a “tough day” behind the wheel.

“It was a tough day for us,” said Nagy. “Since the beginning we were struggling with the engine with some sensors so we almost completely missed FP1. FP2 all the big problems disappeared thanks to our good mechanics and engineers who worked really hard to achieve that. After that we were very satisfied because we finished in the top 10 in what was my first wet session so far in my career in this kind of touring cars so I was quite happy and also very satisfied.

“The qualifying was in dry conditions and I was pushing as hard as I could with new tyres, trying everything but it seems like I have the wrong set-up or something like that. We were struggling at the corners, mainly at the exit of the corners and I was a bit disappointed, a bit sad because it’s our home race and we were thinking about Q2. But we fight as hard as we can to find a good balance. With 80 kilograms of success ballast it makes us very heavy and we have an old car but the rules are the rules. We will try our best.”

The RacerViews info

By Steve Sziklai, May 2017

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