Return to the podium for Mikel | Hyundai N
Our Elantra N TCR customer team claimed a seventh podium of the season with Mikel at El Pinar this weekend at the fifth round of the TCR World Tour.
Mikel began Race 2 in a favourable third position due to the partially reversed-grid format. He made a flying start and took advantage of the two cars ahead of him making contact and slotted into second. He was applying pressure to the car ahead but was unable to find a way past. As a result, he took his fourth trip to the podium this season.
“I’m very happy to have finished second in Race 2,” beamed Mikel. “We suffered more than we expected this weekend, so the podium finish feels like a victory to me.”
Team-mate Norbert also had a great start in Race 2, moving up from seventh to sixth on the opening corners. It wasn’t an easy race, as he had to consistently defend from the car behind, but a safety car deployment at the halfway point meant he was also able to close in on fifth at the restart.
Unfortunately, in the closing minutes, he was hit by another competitor which resulted in him losing two places. There was little time left to take back the positions, so he had to settle for eighth. However, after the race, a penalty was applied to a driver ahead, elevating Norbert to seventh.
“I was unlucky in the second race,” sighed Norbert. “But racing is like this sometimes, so we have to turn our focus to the next races.”
In Race 1, Mikel started in eighth, but a far from ideal start dropped him to ninth after the opening laps. He pushed for the entire duration of the race to catch the car ahead and in the final few laps moved his Elantra N TCR into his starting position, finishing eighth.
“Thanks to the team for giving me a really good car this weekend,” said Mikel. “It’s been great to compete with such a large number of cars on the grid.”
Norbert qualified fourth for Race 1, and a slow start to the race meant he dropped to fifth position. He was quick to try and fight back and was involved in a three-way battle for third but was unable to make any progress and crossed the line in fifth, which secured him a decent haul of points. After the race Norbert was handed a five-second time penalty for contact during the race, dropping him to sixth.
“It’s been a tough weekend for us,” explained Norbert. “But I have still been able to score some good points for the standings which is positive.”
BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse currently sit second in the Kumho TCR World Tour for Teams, while Norbert and Mikel occupy second and third in the Drivers’ standings.
The next round of the Kumho TCR World Tour takes place at Autódromo Internacional José Carlos Bassi, Argentina (25-27 August).