Norbert Michelsiz will begin arguably two of the biggest weeks of his FIA World Touring Car Championship campaign hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself.
Honda’s new factory recruit for 2016 was out of luck at Slovakia Ring last season, struggling to hit the high note in qualifying before ploughing into a gravel trap four laps into race one with a puncture.
Although he hit back in race two by placing eighth overall, the Slovakia weekend didn’t offer the return the then Zengő Motorsport was banking on.
“Last year it was a difficult race for us because we were equal weight with Citroën and because of a bad qualifying we tried to tweak the car for the race and I think because of this quite aggressive set-up I had the puncture on lap four,” said Michelisz, who went on to claim his second Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy crown at the end of the season. “But I have to say after qualifying it was all about going for overall lap time. For me it was a good choice. Of course the target was not to get the puncture – I was P8 at that moment starting from P13 – but we had to take some risks.”
Michelisz says WTCC Race of Slovakia feels like a second home race due to its close proximity to his native Hunary, which hosts the world championship one week later, and the large numbers of Hungarian fans that come to support him.
“Slovakia is something special because there are many fans from Hungary so my target is to be on the podium.”
Source: FIA WTCC