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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.”

Norbert Michelisz has received yet more silverware. Twenty-four hours after picking up his trophy for finishing runner-up in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the FIA Prize Giving event in Paris, the Hungarian was honoured a little closer to home.

The top three drivers in the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship were honoured in Paris on Friday evening when the stunning Château de Versailles hosted the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony.

FIA World Touring Car Championship promoter Eurosport Events has broken with tradition by awarding the prestigious WTCC Nürburgring Nordschleife Best Driver Trophy to not one but two drivers after Polestar Cyan Racing’s factory duo, Thed Björk and Nicky Catsburg, tamed planet earth’s toughest race track in spectacular fashion back in May.

Jean Todt has been re-elected as President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) at the organisation’s General Assembly in Paris today.

Thed Björk will be crowned FIA World Touring Car champion for 2017 at the FIA Prize Giving in Paris this evening. Here are some facts about Polestar Cyan Racing’s swift Swede.

The FIA World Touring Car Championship will be replaced from 2018 with new technical regulations, a new format and a new name following a vote of approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris yesterday (6 December).