WTCR Race 2 victory for Norbert
Our Elantra N TCR customers returned to the top step of the podium in the fifth round of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season, Race of Czech Republic.
BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse driver Norbert took his first victory of the season in Race 2 at Autodrom Most after powering into the lead at turn one on the first lap. Despite sustained pressure from behind for the remainder of the race, the Hungarian kept his cool and claimed his best finish of the year.
“It wasn’t easy to stay in front, especially after the restart of the race,” he admitted. “I gave it everything and it was enough to win the race. We really wanted this; our season wasn’t great so far but we won at just the right time to have momentum for the remaining races.”
His team-mate Gabriele had made a strong start off the line from 11th, before a collision on-track brought his race to a premature end. A hit pitched his Elantra N TCR into the gravel, forcing him to retire and resulting in the race being red flagged. In Race 1, Norbert was given a penalty for an incident which demoted him to 14th, while Gabriele was promoted to 10th.
“Not a fantastic weekend from me, I made a mistake in qualifying that compromised my position in the races,” said Gabriele in summary. “Despite my super start, someone crashed into me and destroyed both our races. I hope we can have a better weekend in Pau.”
Charging up the field
Jean-Karl and Luca both claimed points in Race 1, finishing sixth and 12th, however the Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team then elected to change Luca’s engine in the short break before the second race.
His mechanics worked meticulously to complete the task within an hour, enabling the German to take to the grid for Race 2. Starting 19th, Luca charged up the grid – making the most of the first lap melee. After the restart, he gained one more position to cross the line in seventh.
“Race 2 was amazing, the mechanics managed to finish the job within an hour which was one of the craziest things I have seen in my life,” said a jubilant Luca. “I’m very proud and happy to work with these kind of people. A big thank-you to the team, going flat out and bringing home good points was the minimum I could do to in return for their excellent effort.”
Jean-Karl was running well in sixth when he was handed a drive-through penalty that dropped him to 14th. On the Race 2 grid, his team discovered the anti-roll bar was broken and began to fix it, but was unable to get his car on the ground before the three-minute warning.
“In Race 1 we could have been a bit luckier and claimed a podium position, but equally it could have gone the other way and our race could have been over at the first corner,” explained Jean-Karl. “After that the car didn’t feel great and we suspected something was damaged. We discovered on the grid that the anti-roll bar was broken and we had to change it, but we weren’t able to get the car on the ground when we needed to.”
Our customers have just a short break until the next event; the second of back-to-back rounds, WTCR Race of France, takes place October 16-17.