WTCR - Race of Italy post-Qualifying virtual press conference | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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WTCR - Race of Italy post-Qualifying virtual press conference


FIA WTCR - 2021 WTCR Race of Italy - Post-race virtual press conference transcript

Yann Ehrlacher, Frédéric Vervisch, Thed Björk and Gabriele Tarquini attended the post-qualifying virtual press conference for WTCR Race of Italy. A transcript follows.Press Conference Room, Adria International Raceway, November 6, 2021In attendance:Yann Ehrlacher (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co), first positionFrédéric Vervisch (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport), second positionThed Björk (Cyan Performance), third positionGabriele Tarquini (BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse)LISTEN TO THE AUDIO: THE VIDEO:, what a mega lap that was. Your sector one and sector two were insane. Now just tidy up sectors three and four please!YE:It was a good day. First of all, congrats to the gents beside me and a special mention to Gabriele as well. He’s a gentleman of touring cars and racing and I’ve been watching him since I was a kid, and sharing the field with him was an honour to be honest. Big congrats for all of what you did and have a pleasant retirement. He will come back! About today, it’s never perfect but it was close to perfect with 10 points in the bag for us. That Q3 lap was good and when you go just for that one lap it is always quite interesting to push to the limit and get the best out of the car and of yourself. We did really well today and the team did a mega job to provide me with such a good car on a track where we have never raced before. Just congrats to them and thanks to them as well. Then about the philosophy of it, we are leading at the moment but we are getting closer and closer to the end. I’m full of motivation, I want to be on pole and win races still. Almost whatever it will take I will take it to win and take pole. I will not manage anything until the end, I will not do crazy or stupid things that’s for sure. I will just go for it.Q:About time as well. You last pole was Zandvoort in 2019, 902 days ago, says journalist Neil Hudson…YE:Yeah! Quite a long time ago. It feels good to be back and it will be a good position for tomorrow.Q:Now you have done qualifying and know the track how tough are the races going to be tomorrow?YE:With the competitive field we have in WTCR you don’t need any special track to have tough races. For sure here it can be tough maybe for the first two laps and then maybe at the end if you don’t manage your tyres well you will struggle. But I don’t think there is any particular special thing here, it will be tight and for sure it will be full of intensity from the beginning to the end like always. So we need to be ready to prepare a good set-up for tomorrow.Q:How much of a threat is Fred Vervisch beside you, when you know how quick the Audis are as well?YE:He is a big threat, you know? He proved he was quick this weekend, he was constantly quick the last few events. So he is a threat and for sure I will need to push myself to the limit to keep him behind tomorrow and to win the race. It will be like this until the end of the season I think.Q:Fred, this second half of the season is proving to be rather nice for you.FV:Yes, for sure. Congrats to them and it’s nice to share with them this room again with Gabriele. But unlike Yann I was not pushing 100%, I save it for tomorrow for the race. No… It was also a very good lap and I was happy with that, but he is the leader and took maximum points. I’ve just found out in Q2 you don’t take points! So I’m a bit disappointed on that… I’m joking. It’s very hard, what can I say? We’re pushing very hard. I expected us Audis to be quicker, to be stronger the whole team, but it was not the case. So I’m a bit disappointed on that side. On the other hand I think we did the maximum today and tomorrow we have some good positions where we can fight for good points, so we need to keep on doing that. Everything will be quite exciting. Like Yann said, the first two laps will always be.Q:Thed, your sector four was brilliant.TB:Yeah, it was really brilliant. But I have to learn something from Yann in sector one and two.Q:Talk us through that lap. How tough is it out there when the sun is so low?TB:It’s always tough, but I also have to start first by saying hi to Gabriele. He’s been a fantastic driver for such a long time, such a big motivation for young drivers who want to go touring car racing. It’s a big moment when you say you have to retire. I know we have been fighting hard and so on, but I have big respect for Gabriele and after this I hope you do really well with whatever you want to do. It feels really special to be here. I was doing the same in China with Yvan, but then he came back. But all the best, Gabriele. Going back to today, everybody is fighting so hard, with Yann putting the lap together. Everybody is pushing. It feels so good when you have a car you feel you can take to the limit, you feel the grip in it and it’s a good balance. It’s a good feeling as a race driver to have. It’s nice to be in third position but it’s always nice to be pushing your car to the maximum.Q:You guys have really maximised everything, with Santiago Urrutia on the reverse pole for Race 1TB:It feels really good. But now we have to do the set-up for tomorrow, Yann! It doesn’t stop, you can just enjoy for a short while, then it’s the next challenge when you get to the races.Q:It looks like it will be colder tomorrow as well. How much difference will that make?TB:It could even rain, making it more hard. That is part of the game being in a World Cup. But you have to set up the car and the one at the end of the season that has the best set-up and has done the best should be the champion. We have to continue fighting, it’s not over yet and try to get that victory as well tomorrow.Q:Gabriele, what is it like hearing the responses from your compadres?GT:I’m happy. It was a privilege to stay so many years around WTCC, WTCR and fight with young drivers. I have a lot of respect for every driver here because the level is very, very high. To compete with them was a great honour and I feel lucky to have this privilege to fight with them at the top level touring car championship. That’s great.Q:How emotional has it been today when you went out to do the laps?GT:It was not my best day unfortunately. I hope to stay in the top 10, this was my target because the pace of our car wasn’t really, really fast. Congrats to them because they were faster than us. It was quite hard. But I was really unlucky, I cannot regret to the car, I regret to myself. It was my mistake, I went too fast on the first corner and unfortunately I went to the gravel trap with no chance to get back to the track. I was stuck in the gravel and it’s very deep. If you didn’t try the gravel trap you cannot exit from them, it’s impossible. I tried to do my best and tomorrow it will be tough because starting 12th for both races is not easy because the track is quite narrow and twisty. But I have nothing to lose, I will be in full attack mode and we will see what happens! It’s not to help my team-mates because we are quite far away also in the championship, it’s just for me. I want to score some good positions because a lot of people come from my home town to visit me. Tomorrow will not be my best race, but I will try to do my best to score some points and some good positions.