Driver quotes ahead of FIA WTCC Race of Macau

Driver quotes ahead of FIA WTCC Race of Macau

11.11.2017: FIA WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Macau Suncity Group Macau Guia Race FIA World Touring Car Championship, Rounds 17 and 18 of 20 16-19 November 2017

FIA WTCC JVCKENWOOD Race of Macau
Suncity Group Macau Guia Race
FIA World Touring Car Championship, Rounds 17 and 18 of 20
16-19 November 2017




Nicky Catsburg (Polestar Cyan Racing)
: “It was actually quite scary going to Macau for the first time last year even though you’re never really scared as a driver. But Macau is something special, especially Mandarin, the second corner.


It’s so fast, maybe a short lift but maybe flat out and really exciting. At Macau you just have to be close to the walls and be comfortable being close to the walls.



I don’t feel I really know Macau because we had a lot of red flags last year but maybe I have an advantage over my Polestar Cyan Racing team-mates Thed Björk and Néstor Girolami, who have never been there.



 I’m not the biggest fan of street circuits but I like the challenge of Macau although it punishes you when you push too much.”





Esteban Guerrieri (Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team):
“I raced there in 2007 in Formula 3. Before I went to the Nürburgring Nordschleife this year I always said Macau was the most intense single lap for concentration.



 The Nürburgring Nordschleife is double that but at Macau you have to go between walls on full power at 100 per cent, you give everything and even more to get the maximum out of the car. I like street courses and Macau is top of the street courses. You never know where is the limit or when you are close to the limit.



You don’t realise you’ve gone too much until you hit the wall. In a normal race track you go off the track and you realised you’ve gone too far. At Macau you never realise how hard you are pushing.



When I went there in 2007 I was topfive in first qualifying but my second qualifying was not good, P12 or P13 or something. Then I was a victim of Mandarin corner at the start and it was not a good weekend. But I enjoyed it.”




Tom Coronel (ROAL Motorsport)
: “If you ask a driver what would be the coolest race track on planet earth the Nordschleife and Macau are in big competition. Macau is a circuit where you need to build your confidence and I’m always a bit over-confident.



I was leading the Formula 3 race once when I crashed at Mandarin because I was looking in my mirrors. And once you have a little scratch your confidence is cracked.



This is why I tell the young guys to build up your speed and get in the flow of Macau, which is like Monaco with the glamour, the casinos and all the impressive hotels.



It’s special vibe but it’s not a holiday because you’re at work although you need a little party on the Sunday night because after stress you need relaxation and Macau is one of those stressful places.



I was very happy when Macau was back on the calendar because it belongs to the WTCC and I’ve always been quick there. The hardest corner for me has always been Mandarin because you are always holding your breath.



I did it twice flat with a WTCC car, one time it worked out with new  yres and the second time I tried it I crashed my car. But it was flat. You have the posts on the left side and the car starts to move, always once, twice, you turn in but the wobble is a little bit different and if you’re not on the right moment you just miss the apex and you have a big shunt.


 It’s one of those big corners that makes it cool for a race car driver but also the most challenging.”





Rob Huff (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport):
“I’m massively excited to be going back, probably much more than anyone else. Macau has always been a magical place for me from the first moment I went there.


I’ve always been quick and confident there but I don’t know the answer why. It’s always been a place that’s clicked with me. To have eight victories is something special and I want to build on that. I went there for the first time with no apprehension, no idea really.



 I hadn’t really heard of the place if I’m honest. The first year my good friend [and fellow WTCC racer] Tom Coronel helped me out. He’d been there many times before and we spent two hours from 2am on the Monday and Tuesday before the race going around in a taxi. Although you can’t do a full lap of Macau in a taxi it was a big help.



For whatever reason we’ve got the lap record in a Lada Granta but don’t ask me how. We were quicker than José María López in a Citroën C-Elysée and no one could touch him in 2014. Okay, I got lucky because Tiago [Monteiro] lost the powersteering when he was leading, but I beat Yvan Muller in another Citroën and he was behind me the whole time.


At Macau you don’t get away with any mistakes. There are circuits that are as challenging but there aren’t any that are as unforgiving as Macau. There is no room for error. Those who push the boundaries on every corner can get rewarded but it can also be a disaster. There’s no such thing as a small amount of damage at Macau.”



Richard Rodgers, photo FIA WTCC

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11.11.2017 / MaP

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