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WTCR - WTCR drivers share their thoughts on Mighty Macau

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This is what some of the #WTCR2019SUPERGRID members have had to say about Macau’s Circuito da Guia, which hosts penultimate event of the 2019 WTCR – World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO from 14-17 November

Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport, Honda Civic Type R TCR):
“The most important part of Macau is to do a good qualifying and to do this we need to be competitive and have a good baseline from last year when we could win. To qualify well it’s very important to do Mandarin flat out. It’s a big-balls corner and this can give you extra time for free if you are able to go full throttle in that corner in qualifying. It’s also very important to nail the second sector, the mountain. It’s one of the nicest feelings as a driver to drive that sector in qualifying to the limit because it’s just incredibly challenging and I really like to perform to the best and give everything possible. There is always big risks but I try to be precise and do the best I can.”

Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai i30 N TCR):
“Macau for me is probably or the most challenging circuit in the world besides the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Okay, it’s shorter than the Nürburgring, but you have corners where you are doing 230kph with concrete walls on the exit and you need to take a lot of risk to be fast. I always enjoy being there, it’s a very nice place, very nice environment, fantastic track and it’s an intense title battle. I expect Macau to be very important for the championship fight.”

Yvan Muller (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, Lynk & Co 03 TCR):
“The challenge is 100 times bigger in Macau than anywhere else. But Macau is Macau and we can never predict what is going to happen. In 2007 my car stopped on the last lap when I was in the lead and was the virtual champion. But in 2008 I claimed my first world title in Macau.”

Jean-Karl Vernay (Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS):
“I think we’re going to have a very good car, not too heavy, which normally makes a big difference in Macau. Last year we did a great qualifying with a lot of ballast and won a race. I want to do the same this year, that’s the main target at the end of the season. I feel confident and I am confident my team will give me the best Audi RS 3 LMS, but we have to see what the other guys do, although the long straights are good for our car as we don’t have too much drag. All I can do is drive at 100 per cent.”

Rob Huff (SLR VW Motorsport, Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR):
“I’m really excited about the Macau weekend, always, but the outside pressure gets more and more after I was given the King of Macau title. I’ve had nine wins and people expect you to blitz everyone again. But every year it gets harder and harder. You have to rethink where I can find that extra bit of time [that] I seem to have had all my life in Macau. The WTCR is a professional championship and the level is extremely high, but it’s a record I want to extend. We didn’t have the starts we wanted in the races [last year]. The pace was there and I had a great battle with Esteban [Guerrieri in Race 3]. The Audis could easily overtake on the straights though. That’s not ideal but you have to make the most of it. But I love street circuits, Macau is the street circuit and it seems to have been my baby for more than 10 years and I hope that continues.”

Ma Qinghua (Team Mulsanne, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris):
“It’s a second home race for me. It’s always been exciting to race in Macau because of the track, what is around and the people. It’s going to be a tight race and a challenging race. We have a car with the potential to be competitive and we’ve made a lot of progress in the last few races. I was not doing a full season when I raced at Macau last year so this year I will be better prepared. In 2017 I did the quickest lap in the race, but in the past when I raced in Macau there is something always not going too perfect. I never had a chance to put everything together in Macau so fingers crossed for this year.”

Tom Coronel (Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing, CUPRA TCR):
“If you say a street circuit already a racing driver starts to get excited. You have Monaco but then you have the next step and it’s Macau. You have the high speed, it’s so tight and it’s easy for somebody in front of you to make a mistake and that will give you a big handicap if you crash into them. Once you’ve touched the barrier and had damage to your car it can be a handicap all weekend. Your confidence will be one step down and you will never get it back, never. Once you have a problem you will carry it like a backpack full with led for the rest of the weekend. You have to get in the Macau mode, feel the atmosphere and taste the track, the bumpiness, to absorb the tension of the whole situation at Macau. This is such a special feeling you never have that at a normal race track.”