WTCR Germany Race 3 press conference

WTCR Germany Race 3 press conference

22.06.2019: FIA WTCR Race of Germany WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019 Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of 30, Nürburgring Nordschleife, 20-22 June Saturday 22 June 2019


FIA WTCR Race of Germany
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019
Rounds 13, 14 and 15 of 30, Nürburgring Nordschleife, 20-22 June
Saturday 22 June 2019



In attendance:

Benjamim Leuchter, SLR Volkswagen, first position, Race 3
Frédéric Vervisch, Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, second position, Race 2 and 3
Esteban Guerrieri, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, third position, Race 3
Johan Kristoffersson, SLR Volkswagen, first position, Race 2





Benjamin, you are a folk hero here at a track you know so well. Just explain your emotions right now after winning in WTCR / OSCARO for the first time?




Benjamim Leuchter, SLR Volkswagen, first position, Race 3


Yes, I am so happy, over the moon. This is the racing I love and what I was searching for, with the world’s best touring car drivers on this track. To be honest, the race was one of the best of my life. It was on the edge with Esteban twice on the first lap, after the start first and then at the very last corner second. It was awesome, I really wanted to win, so I pushed really hard.





The celebrations at the end with your team and your family must make it ever more special.



Benjamim Leuchter, SLR Volkswagen, first position, Race 3


Yes, I connect my while life to this track. To be honest, I almost grew up here. When I was first racing in 2008 I won my first ever race on this track. To be here now racing against the best tourng car drivers in the world and to win the main race here means so much to me. Thanks to all the guys who made this happen to put me into this World Touring Car Cup, thanks to my whole family and everybody who has supported me through my whole life. I’m just so, so happy.






On Wednesday you said if you didn’t come away from here with a couple of podiums your world championship would be finished. You have achieved that with two second place finishes…



Frédéric Vervisch, Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, second position, Race 2 and 3



Yes, a very good result for us. Congratulations to Benny, he did an awesome job. I even would have felt bad if I had overtaken him on the last lap with the slipstream because the move he did with Esteban was really on the edge and I probably would not have stayed there. He really deserved to win. Regarding us, free practice didn’t start well. We lacked speed so I didn’t have high hopes for the races.



But in the tricky conditions in qualifying we had luck on our side and performed well when it was necessary. And from there two times I had a good start and three times I could avoid incidents, so I’m very happy with this weekend. The Comtoyou guys did an amazing job to repair the car from the big hit, so this is really for them.





Before the start of Race 3 you had some liquid leaking from the bottom of your car. What happened and was that playing on your mind.



Esteban Guerrieri, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, third position, Race 3




Everything from the chequered flag of Race 2 to the chequered flag of Race 3 the mechanics were trying to repair the brakes because I had not much brakes. I also didn’t have a clutch, it got stuck and couldn’t start. So they pushed me out of the box, I went straight to the grid.



They pushed me backwards and forwards, and I was saying ‘one more time, one more time, keep pushing until it gets back to normal.’ It didn’t so I started the formation lap with the engine off, first gear and pressing the button to get going, and that was how I was going to start the race. I told my team manager to tell all the other teams to be careful because I’m going to start slow.


And then in the formation lap two corners from the end I don’t know what happened but the clutch went back to normal. It was just incredible. I said to my engineer, ‘hey, it’s OK, don’t say anything to anybody else’. So maybe my mum and dad from up there just helped me somehow. Then I had a good start.



I have to say congratulations to this guy on my right, not only because of the win but in Zandvoort when I won and he was second he kept flashing and I was a bit upset because I thought it was not a very gentlemanly move from his side, but today he really showed that he’s a gentleman even though he’s very young and he showed really good skills behind the wheel. He did a very clean start, so from there on I thought I could fight with him.



Okay I went wide a little bit in Turn 1, but he didn’t block me or anything, so I realised we could fight fair and square, and that’s what we did and that’s why I took the risk at the most difficult corner in the world probably, and we did it. He managed to pull a very nice move. I stayed second, well third, because then Freddy overtook me, but it was just the best move ever and I have to congratulate him.



The moves are by two people, not only one, so it was a very fun race. I say sorry to my engineer because I risk a little bit too much, but I was thinking much about the points. Just racing probably a little bit too much, but in the end I have to say thank you to him for a great move. Also congratulations to Freddy too.






And just a quick summary of the situation in the #ROADTOMALAYSIA where you have a 45-point advantage. How satisfying is that?



Esteban Guerrieri, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, third position, Race 3



It was actually a very good weekend for us. Thank you to Honda who came from Japan. It was great to meet you guys, they came here to meet us and share this weekend with us, so it is great to have this good performance and who we can perform on every track. That’s why we are where we are now. We will just have to keep an eye on the compensation weight. It won’t be easy, but we’ll be fighting for sure. So thank you, guys, for being here and to the team as well of course. We will try to maintain the lead.




Johan, you had a big accident in Race 3, but you had a fantastic victory in Race 2. Just give us a quick summary of your race.



Johan Kristoffersson, SLR Volkswagen, first position, Race 2


Yes, it was a very nice race for me to start from pole. I had a good car throughout the whole race, I could push really hard in the first two laps and the car was working fantastic. It was a bit tricky the first few corners, but from there on I could drive my own race and I was pushing as much as I could the first two laps. A big thanks to the team and also to Mehdi who has a lot of experience of the track and learned me a lot of tricks and tips. I’ve been looking forward to this track since I was last here in 2011, so it was very nice.




Race 3 was a different story. Just explain the situation leading up to the accident and the impact.




Johan Kristoffersson, SLR Volkswagen, first position, Race 2



I had a very good take off from the launch and from there I was in wrong place at the wrong time after the start, so I was dead last. From there on I had a good race and picking up lots of positions and was enjoying the first lap pushing. Then on the second lap after Bergwerk there was a lot of dust and I couldn’t really see, and I ended up on the grass at very high speed and from there I was just a passenger and went into the Armco. But I’m fine, but I’m not so sure about the car.





Questions from the floor:





Neil Hudson TouringCarTimes to Frédéric Vervisch: following what Esteban said about the championship. He has a very strong lead, how do you see it?


Frédéric Vervisch, Comtoyou Team Audi Sport, second position, Race 2 and 3


We were P11 before the weekend, so it’s good. Everything is very tight behind the leader Esteban. For the rest of the year it will very hard. We need a victory where we can dominate. Here I had a feeling we had some luck in qualifying and then we had some good track position, but our speed is not where it has to be, so I hope for some improvement for the rest of the season, otherwise it is going to be difficult to catch up.





Richard Rodgers, photos FIA WTCR
 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/wtcr-germany-race-3-press-conference---192840.html

22.06.2019 / MaP

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