WTCR - Race of Portugal press conference transcript | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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WTCR - Race of Portugal press conference transcript


WTCR Race of PortugalRace 1 press conference transcript 

Media Centre, Teatro de Vila Real, 19h00, Saturday 23 June
Yvan Muller, YMR, first position
Esteban Guerrieri, ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, second position
Pepe Oriola, Team OSCARO by Campos Racing, third position
Edgar Florindo, Veloso Motorsport, leading Portuguese driver
A good victory following a very stressful afternoon after what happened to your YMR team-mate Thed Björk and your start in the first place. Just explain your race day from your point of view.
I don’t know how it happened exactly at the front because I did my best worst start of my career. I missed my start and that was lucky for me because I was not in the pack. I only have one car to repair and pay for tonight instead of two. But yes, Thed’s car is quite damaged. The boys have already started work on it. I believe they will spend all night working on it, but I’m sure they will fix it. Yes, this is a victory, I’ll take it of course. It’s important for the points. But I would like to think of Rob [Huff] and Mehdi [Bennani]. They were the fastest today and they should probably be on the podium, but unfortunately racing is as it is. It’s a victory, but not a real one.
Esteban, you came here looking for a podium treble and you’ve made a good start in Race 1?
First of all, congratulations to all the guys here for a good job. It was an interesting day. The first start I would say I was lucky because I’m here. I was in the pack and I don’t know how I got through, but I just appeared in front of all of them. Unfortunately, as Yvan says, you don’t want to be here because other people are not able to race, but I think for the future this is a good learning point for all of us. I was able to start the race because of the mechanics. I couldn’t believe all the effort they put in. It was really intense, the moment they finished the car and dropped it to the floor, and very emotional as I saw them hugging; from Yann’s car, from Thompson’s car, they hugged each other, smiled and said we did it. That was team spirit and I almost felt like crying, it was so emotional, but I had to do the job to bring the car home. Nothing broke down so it was perfect to finish the race and score good points. Sometimes I have been very unlucky during the season with little things, but in this case I was a bit lucky. For the rest, I hope they can repair their cars quickly and race again tomorrow.
Pepe, up until the final lap it was looking like fourth place for you, but you got third at the end. What happened?
Again, I want to think and to know that Mehdi and Rob are OK, because I was really shocked. It was the first time I’ve seen a driver get out of the car screaming in pain. I realised again that we are drivers and we can get hurt, but sometimes you don’t even think about it. Today was a day when I realised again. The last lap, I was pushing the whole race. I overtook Jean-Karl [Vernay] on the joker lap, even if it was a little after. We had a little bit of contact, but I managed to pass and then I tried to push as much as I could. I was close to the pace of the guys in front, but I’d lost too much time and then on the last lap I saw Gabriele. I don’t know if he had a puncture or touched the wall because the car was moving a little bit. I don’t think it was a puncture, but in races like this you have to push to the last lap. I am happy for all my team and my family to score a podium.
Edgar, this was your first time in the WTCR. Just explain your race and your experience please.
I had a difficult qualifying session. I was only able to do three clear laps with already worn tyres. It was not easy. Then the accident happened. I hope everyone is OK. I send them my compliments. In the race I was able to be fast and do a good race. I have good expectations for tomorrow. I had problems with the transmission and also some mechanical problems from the accident, but everything was OK and I hope to be OK for the race tomorrow.