What the WTCR race winners said in Alsace GrandEst
This is what Nathanaël Berthon and Rob Huff had to say after they shared the two race wins at WTCR Race of Alsace GrandEst earlier today.
RACE 1: Nathanaël Berthon (FRA), Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport, Audi RS 3 LMS
“Bebu [Néstor Girolami] did an incredible job so it was not easy to keep him behind, but it’s so good to win here in France. It’s been a long time so it’s good. I had a vibration with three laps to go. I was terrified of losing a win again. I’ve already lost a podium and a fourth position twice… A lot of points have gone and this time it would have been a victory. It would have been a disaster. Finally, the victory is home. I’m very happy, but it was very stressful. We are a very good, very well-connected team and we work well together. The drivers, engineers, team manager… we’re always trying different stuff. We are four cars so we are going faster, for example, than Hyundai who have only two. Also we lost the 40kg [compensation weight] this weekend, so that helped. We are lucky there is a long straight here because the start was good, I could use the tow [from Girolami], we touched a little bit, but I was faster in the straight and I could manage the first corner easily. Then I saw the fighting behind, I could manage things a bit more and it’s super to get the victory.”
RACE 2: Rob Huff (GBR), Zengő Motorsport, CUPRA Leon Competición
“First of all a huge thanks to the team for giving me a transformed car from Race 1, which gave me everything I needed to win Race 2. Ultimately it came down to the best start I made of the season so far and probably one of the most important starts of the season. I just got it completely hooked up, got a good launch to get alongside Mehdi and I think he saw me coming so he didn’t try to close the door too much. I knew he was going to try to come behind me quickly to stop Norbi [Michelisz], but we were very fair and the first lap was just about seeing how the car was different because we’d changed it quite a lot. It was about exploring what we had and it took me three or four laps to get into a rhythm. At that point Mehdi was quicker than me and putting me under pressure, but it was about making sure I had enough of a gap so that he couldn’t have a cheeky look up the inside anywhere. As the race progressed I managed to get a few more tenths each lap and by the end it was seven or eight tenths. That was just enough to give me a bit of comfort. Mehdi was super-fast in Turns 1 and 2. I in the middle sector I was quicker and in the last sector we were pretty even. I knew I had to really nail the middle sector and get those two or three tenths because he was going to get them back in the first sector and I had to build the margin. It worked out perfectly. I was counting the laps down and praying there wasn’t going to be a safety car or any other interference. It all worked out. I’m super, super chuffed.”