WTCR VTB Race of Russia post-race 2 virtual press conference

WTCR VTB Race of Russia post-race 2 virtual press conference

28.11.2021: The top 3 in Race 2, the winner of Race 1 took part in a virtual press conference following Race 2 at WTCR VTB Race of Russia. WTCR VTB Race of Russia, Sochi Autodrom, November 26-28, 2021 WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, rounds 15 and 16 of


The top 3 in Race 2, the winner of Race 1  took part in a virtual press conference following Race 2 at WTCR VTB Race of Russia.


WTCR VTB Race of Russia, Sochi Autodrom, November 26-28, 2021
WTCR − FIA World Touring Car Cup, rounds 15 and 16 of 16
Sochi Autodrom, November 28, 2021

 


 

 

In attendance:

Rob Huff (Zengő Motorsport), first position, Race 2
Frédéric Vervisch (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), second position, Race 2
Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, third position Race 3
Mikel Azcona (Zengő Motorsport), first position, Race 1



Rob, congratulations. Normally this time of the year you would be winning in Macau. So why not do it in Russia, right?



Rob Huff (Zengő Motorsport), first position, Race 2


Yeah, exactly, it’s quite fitting I think. We’ve had a horrific season, absolutely horrific. There’s no other way to put it. We’ve had seven DNFs and we had two opportunities where we should have won races. One in Budapest and one here. Obviously in Budpest I made a hash of it, but here we managed to make the absolute most of it. The car was really fast straight from the first wet conditions in Free Practice 2.


The car was brilliant in Qualifying, and then in race one I think Mikel and I did a fantastic job to work together as team-mates to get Mikel on to P1 and unfortunately Fred and I had a coming together and my car came off worse, otherwise I think we would have had a 1-2.


The car is amazing, the team have done a fantastic job just to repair my car and get it out. I think we made it by one minute, so huge thanks to Zengő Motorsport. And with race two I just got a fantastic start, jumped two places, got Yann and I think I was even battling for the lead into T1, was on the outside so I knew I would have to cut back in and did.


And then something I haven’t seen for a long while happened behind the safety car with Yvan and Mikel. I’m not sure exactly what happened but it resulted in them both going off and then on the restart I found myself in P2 from P4, made a really good move on Néstor, we had a really good fight for a few corners and then just managed to get my head down and get away.



But that lap I got a warning on the dashboard that we had a low fuel pressure alarm, then we got a misfire, and I had to do six laps in the lead with the dashboard not really working and the gear change not really working that well.





But you were spanking out fastest laps at the same time…




Rob Huff (Zengő Motorsport), first position, Race 2


Yeah, I was making up for it somewhere else I think! But I’m just so pleased the car finished the race. With my luck this year I wasn’t sure. I genuinely thought with four laps to go the car was going to die and that would just seal the fate of the season. But to get on the podium and win the race was just brilliant.





Just how tricky were the conditions out there?



Rob Huff (Zengő Motorsport), first position, Race 2


Really tough. Every lap it wasn’t consistent, the track was drier in some places. Under the safety car it really started to rain on the back straight but not on the front straight. So it was really difficult and as the conditions changed the lines changed. So as the first one to arrive I was trying to explore as much as possible, but not go too far away from what I knew was working.


I just had to make sure after the safety car that I knew Audi and Fred would be really strong on the brakes into T1 and if anything that was probably my weakest part of the track, so I just needed to make sure I could cover him there and I knew I could get a few tenths for the rest of the lap. Just really, really tough and thankful we are sitting here and quite amazed to be honest with you.





Fred, what a year this has turned out to be for you. After round two you thought that was it for the season, then your title battle has gone all over the place and you finish just 21 points behind Yann after another tricky weekend for you.




Frédéric Vervisch (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), second position, Race 2


Yeah, extremely tricky. But first of all I would like to congratulate Yann for the title. At the end today he deserved it, they were the strongest the whole year and they did a great job. I want to congratulate Mr Rob Huff for his victory.

And last but not least I’m very happy that my team-mate got his first podium as well. I think that shows as a team with a new car we developed extremely well. I never expected to be here, so François Verbist, our team manager, he always pushed as hard, we had a big fight blaming each other for different things, but in the end we pulled all on the same car and we are here in P2.


I think we are best of the rest and that’s amazing, for this car but there are many things still we keep on improving and I have to thank everyone on the team. I’ve never been part of one that is so good at working together, and with all the drivers, Gilles, Tom and Nathanael. This was a great experience and I’m happy that we could finish in P2 in the championship. They deserve it.





You must feel very confident ahead of next season.




Frédéric Vervisch (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), second position, Race 2

Do you know already that I will drive? For sure, we want to go for champion and the car is still not done, we can still improve and for sure I would love to be a part of it, to keep on working from where we are now. But let’s see. I really hope.







Nathanaël, finally you’ve got your podium! For you, again, it’s been such an up and down season, hasn’t it?


Nathanaël Berthon (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, third position Race 3


Yeah. For me it was not a very easy season, I would say. Up and down, a lot of work to do. Finally I’m here, so happy. I’m a bit speechless. I’m happy for the team, for Fred of course, for Gilles who did an amazing job. We worked a lot this year. To develop the car was not easy and there was a lot of effort from everybody. I feel very happy actually to have this strong result.


I thin everybody deserves it and that’s why I’m very happy. I would like to congratulate Yann, for sure, as a French guy second time in a row. We know one time it is not easy, but two times it’s actually an achievement. So congrats to him and to Lynk & Co as well. I think we have to work a little bit to reach his level, but we are on it. From my side I’ve had quite a lot of trouble this year.


I’ve always felt great in the car in terms of performance. But every time in qualifying something happened so I was not able to be with my mates. Finally it’s a good end to the season and will give a lot of motivation to all the team to have the aim to fight against the Lynk & Cos next year.




Mikel, what an up and down day. First of all talk us though race one and what a start.


Mikel Azcona (Zengő Motorsport), first position, Race 1


Thank you very much. First of all, congratulations to Yann for the championship. Really appreciate a very good job for the year. Also to Rob for this race, he deserved it and obviously to Nathanaël for the podium. It’s been a really difficult day for me, but I’m really happy because I won the first race starting from P8. The feeling is really good.


I think this season I was waiting for a victory the whole year, so really happy. Second race, it was a very frustrating moment for me because I didn’t expect that crash from Yvan. I really appreciate that he came to me to apologise, so I understand his point of view and I’m sure he did a mistake, so no problem about that. But I was trying to win the second race because I felt really good in those conditions in the wet.


I felt really fast and I wanted to finish the season with a double victory which for me would have been amazing and for Cupra Racing. It would have been really impressive to finish the year like this. It’s been a really up and down season for us.


Anyway, I’m really happy because the team is really happy with Rob winning the second race. In the end the weekend went amazingly, so I really hope next year to have as many races as possible in these conditions. Anyway we are going to fight in any conditions.




How does 2022 look for you?


Mikel Azcona (Zengő Motorsport), first position, Race 1


We will see. At the moment I want to enjoy this moment, tonight to be with my team, with CUPRA. It is the best moment to be together and to relax and enjoy the season. Obvioulsy once I arrive at home I will prepare myself for the next year as much as possible because I want to be world champion, and this is my goal. We will see.



- Richard Rodgers, photos WTCR


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28.11.2021 / MaP

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