WTCR Race of Italy - Race 1 press conference

WTCR Race of Italy - Race 1 press conference

24.07.2022: FIA WTCR Race of Italy Vallelunga Sunday, July 24th 2022 In attendance: Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), first position, Race 1 Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), second position, Race 1 Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Tea


FIA WTCR Race of Italy
Vallelunga
Sunday, July 24th 2022



In attendance:

Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), first position, Race 1
Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), second position, Race 1
Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), third position, Race 1




Bebu, a brave start and then talk us through the race from your perspective.




Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), first position, Race 1


It was a tough race. First of all, congratulations to Mikel and Gilles, and all my crew, my team, HRC. It was a really tough race. I knew from the beginning that starting from pole here is not an advantage, in a way that you have less grip on the inside line and I expected some wheelspin, I’d had some already. So I managed to keep my front bumper with his rear bumper.



The first corner was luckily to the right, so that was the most important part of the race. Then trying to survive because this race was really, really hot. When I saw some cars having issues I said, okay, I need to be even more careful. Then came the safety car, I cooled down the tyres and engine and everything was fine.




Was the safety car a relief?




Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), first position, Race 1


In a way, yes. But in another way, no, because I think Mikel was having some temperature issues. I saw in the mirror he was moving the line. In that moment I thought okay, maybe he could attack.


When he closed the gap he was having temperature issues and when the safety car came out of course everyone cooled their engines, so it was a relief but it was also a worry how much he had in the pocket to attack.





Which he did seem to have because that last lap was intense.




Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), first position, Race 1



Yeah. I was pretty surprised, I would say, coming out of T5 when I looked in the mirror. Probably his engine was really, really good in that moment because I didn’t see in many laps this difference in terms of the speed.


But we managed to stay in front and I knew in terms of fighting for the championship we really needed these points, so that was the target yesterday and we got it today. So I’m really happy.





And you have made an almighty leap. You are sitting P2 in the standings and we still have a race to go.




Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), first position, Race 1



Yeah, of course. Yesterday, the pole position was really important, not only for the points but to secure these points in the main race, which this year is higher.


Also fighting with Mikel. When I saw he was leading Q3 I knew I had to do the lap of my life and it worked, it was very good. And now we need to keep pushing. For sure we will get some kilos but points and points and are always welcome.





Your thoughts then, ahead of Race 2.



Néstor Girolami (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), first position, Race 1



Yeah, completely different. When you are in the traffic in these kind of conditions it’s very difficult to cool down the engine. So hopefully we can make a gap.


Maybe the start is the only real opportunity to overtake and then as soon as we close the gap to the car in front it is very difficult to overtake. But my main target is to score points.





Mikel, you are still wearing that blue cap and you are certainly not making it easy for the others to take it off you. A brilliant start and constant pressure on Bebu through that race.




Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), second position, Race 1


Yes, it wasn’t an easy race. Congrats to Gilles as well, they did a very good race as well. We saw with these high temperatures the track was a very high temperature as well and we were suffering a lot. During the race I had a message on the radio that many cars had a puncture.

I was struggling as well because when you are behind a car and you are very close to him the temperature is always a limiting factor. So I was trying to avoid the slipstream on the straight to cool down a little bit.



Fortunately with the safety car I had three laps to cool the car down a little bit and then the two laps remaining I tried to push Néstor because the car was very good at this point. We survived in this very difficult race which wasn’t easy to finish at all.


But I’m very happy for the team because we are here back on the podium again at a home track for BRC which is amazing, so thanks to all the team.





And your thoughts on Race 2?


Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), second position, Race 1



Race 2 will be tough because if it was tough in the first one having only one car in front, you might have seven or eight cars in front. It will be very tough.


I hope to finish the race, honestly. I don’t expect a big or good race in terms of many overtakes because we didn’t see that in the first race, but I want to survive, I want to finish. I will do my best like always, but if I finish I will be very happy.





How are you coping doing double duties with ETCR and WTCR in this heat?


Mikel Azcona (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), second position, Race 1



It’s not easy, it’s very difficult! You are going fast from one race to the other race, one car to the other car, it’s very difficult. High temperatures on the car, no time to analyse. It’s very tricky, but in the end I am enjoying it, I’m having good results and the weekend is going very well at the moment. So let’s finish the weekend like this.





Gilles, is your head alright?



Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), third position, Race 1

Not really. I’ll tell you a little story. The bottle of champagne opened and it went right on my head. It’s a big bump, eh? I was almost KO’ed. Racing is not dangerous, but standing on a podium – I was almost KO’ed! I’m lucky it didn’t go in the eye. Can you imagine?





Now you can tell us about your race! A great second podium of the year.



Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), third position, Race 1


Exactly. Starting P7 I didn’t expect to be that strong. I took some risks in the first lap and I went around the outside of my team-mate, afterwards around the outside of Guerrieri and then I attacked Michelisz, so I was immediately up to P4. Then unfortunately my team-mate Berthon had a tyre puncture and then I was in P3. To be honest

I did not take any risks, I was really afraid to have this puncture as well. Whenever I heard the tyre spinning slightly I was opening the steering again. I think I had a lot of potential this race, I had good speed, but I don’t think I used it completely because I preferred to finish than to take the risk not to finish.



Third place is good points. Second race we start in third position again, potential of even better points. So I think this was the smartest move and the smartest choice to make. Also with Michelisz behind me I was really afraid to be honest that he would attack me. But he didn’t try, I was really lucky with that. Good points, really happy.






Your consistency is certainly starting to pay off. So Race 2, you are in a good position.



Gilles Magnus (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), third position, Race 1


Yes, P3. I think we have confirmed the race pace is good. The less cars you have in front, the less overheating as we all know. So I am looking forward to it, I think we have some potential to show something. First of all let’s try to finish the race because we have seen a lot of punctures, so let’s hope not to have this.

    


Richard Rodgers, photos WTCR

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/wtcr-of-italy-race-1-press-conference---240513.html

24.07.2022 / MaP

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