Race 2 victory for BRC Racing Team at WTCR Race of France
BRC Racing Team were on the top step of the podium this weekend (May 7-8) with a first place finish for Mikel Azcona at the Race of France, the first round of the 2022 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup season.
Azcona took the lead after a lap one incident from his second row starting position. After the subsequent safety car period, Azcona maintained the gap ahead of the pack at the restart and the Spaniard kept his Hyundai Elantra N TCR at the front to cross the line first. His victory marks his first with BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse.
His team-mate Norbert Michelisz made a strong start off the line from pole position, but his race came to premature end shortly thereafter. The Hungarian was defending his position into the first corner, but a heavy contact forced him to retire which resulted in the safety car deployment.
A consistent performance in Race 1 saw both drivers withstand pressure from behind to maintain their positions. Azcona was involved in a close battle throughout the race but had little chance to overtake on the tight circuit. After dropping down a place to seventh, Michelisz was able to capitalise on cars ahead pitting to move further up the order in the final laps. Azcona and Michelisz finished in points-scoring positions in sixth and ninth respectively.
Despite mixed fortunes at the Race of France, BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse have demonstrated it had the pace to challenge for wins and podiums with the Hyundai Elantra N TCR. The team sits second in the overall standings, with Azcona and Michelisz third and 15th in the drivers’ title.
Team Principal of BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Gabriele Rizzo said: “It’s been a busy winter, so this is a fantastic weekend for the team after the long off-season. We are frustrated with what happened to Norbi as we had the possibility to get a 1-2, but we must look at the positives. The fact that yesterday in qualifying we were not able to be in front of the field, which meant we capitalised with Mikel on the reversed grid in the best way. Coming away from France with a victory is the best step to start the championship. I would like to thank all the staff at BRC Racing Team and the support of Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing for what they have done to achieve these great results.”
Norbert Michelisz said: “Mixed feelings for me this weekend, I’m happy for the team and for Mikel’s win, but unfortunately, I made a mistake in Race 2 which cost me a lot of points so I’m sorry about that. Race 1 was tricky in the beginning, my start was average, and I was in the middle of the pack. It was difficult to stay clean and I received some bumps, but happy with the P9. In the end we still have a good base to build upon for the next event, you need to learn from mistakes that you make and I’m looking forward to the future events.”
Mikel Azcona said: “I’m very happy with my first weekend with BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse. To win a race at Pau is amazing, it’s my first time here and I think the track is awesome. The car felt great during the whole of Race 2, and I was able to pull away from the pack behind. I must congratulate every single person from the team, they did an awesome job throughout the process of testing and during the weekend. I’m here because of them so really pleased with how we have started the year. We will keep working to keep this up ahead of Germany.”
The next race of the 2022 WTCR season, Race of Germany, takes place on May 28-29.