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They said what? WTCC drivers look ahead to Germany

They said what? WTCC drivers look ahead to Germany

19/05/2017 18:00

The FIA World Touring Car Championship heads to the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife next week. This is what some of the leading drivers have had to say in the build up to WTCC Race of Germany.

Nicky Catsburg (Polestar Cyan Racing): “For me it’s one of the best events of the year because the track is so unique. It’s one of my favourite tracks in the world. It goes through small villages, up and down, big elevation changes, very high speed with different types of asphalt as well. It’s an insanely big challenge. The atmosphere is amazing with so many fans and the circuit has so much history, a place where I would like to be racing for many years to come. Because the lap is so long it’s impossible to get the perfect lap without mistakes.”

Tiago Monteiro (Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team): “It is the most challenging track we go to and probably the most challenging track in the world. It’s definitely a demanding track, special, different to anything else we do. We change our mindset, we change the car a lot, everything is different. It’s only three laps but it’s very intense. I’m going to do as I’ve been doing at every race weekend – start from scratch and do the best possible. Again, qualifying will be important there. We have improved in so many areas, also our top speeds are much better as we saw in Monza. We are confident. It’s not going to be an easy challenge but we’ll try to be strong.”

Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport): “It’s the hardest track ever, 100 per cent sure. There’s no track like the Nordschleife. Of course you have Macau but the Nordschleife is longer so if you make a mistake you have to wait a long time for your next chance. You go to any race track in the world and you get excited but when you go to the Nordschleife you don’t just get excited, you get overwhelmed. It’s completely crazy. There’s always fear. But there should be fear in motor racing when there’s high speed. But it’s different for the Nordschleife. I respect the track and that’s how you have to play it. If you don’t respect the Nordschleife, you don’t get the results.”

Yann Ehrlacher (RC Motorsport): “I drove a Mijet race car for two laps during the VLN test day and I was there a few weeks ago with my road car just to discover the track. I can’t say I can’t wait to drive on the Nordschleife because the driver who says they really enjoy the Nordschleife is not going fast enough. It’s impossible, it’s going to be a big challenge for the young drivers like me, Aurélien [Panis] and Dániel [Nagy] because it’s a hard track and and a mistake is a crash. I thought I was knowing the track perfectly before going there because I have been playing it since I was a kid on PlayStation, playing on Gran Turismo and I was doing this everyday after school and I know the track by heart. But it’s not the same in real life.”

Mehdi Bennani and Norbert Michelisz triumphed at WTCC Race of Portugal on 25 June as world championship motor racing history was made with the introduction of the ‘joker’ lap.

Thed Björk and Nicky Catsburg were the winners for Polestar Cyan Racing as the FIA World Touring Car Championship title race was blown wide open following a dramatic WTCC Race of Germany on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife in late May.

Thed Björk signed-off from his Swedish GT campaign with Polestar Cyan Racing by helping Prince Carl Philip move to within touching distance of the title lead.

Mehdi Bennani became the fifth different winner in the all-action 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship as 45,000 fans watched the action at WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Hungary on 14 May.

Victories for Thed Björk and Tom Chilton at WTCC OSCARO Race of Italy at Monza on 30 April made it four different winners from four races in this year’s wide-open FIA World Touring Car Championship.

Filipe de Souza will return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship for the upcoming races in China and Japan, increasing the highly competitive entry in the process.