Azcona’s tough WTCR times away, hoping for better at home
Spain’s Mikel Azcona opened his points-scoring account in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup at Circuito do Estoril last weekend – but left Portugal for his home race next week frustrated at what might have been.
After taking the chequered flag in Race 1 in sixth position, a time penalty dropped the Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición ace to P10 in the final results.
Hopes of more points in Race 2 were then dashed due to damage sustained in a collision with Tom Coronel forced him to retire, but not before the Spaniard had been served with a drive-through penalty for his part in the incident with his Dutch rival.
“After free practice we felt not so bad, we did two P8s, and had some 10ths to improve for Qualifying,” Goodyear-equipped Azcona explained. “But we couldn’t do anything more than P13, maybe P11 or P12 because I did a mistake on my fastest lap, but no more.
“In Race 1 we were starting from P13. We had quite a good start, tried to find the space in the first corners and took P9 on the first lap, which made me a comfortable space. After that I felt quite good behind [Attila] Tassi and [Thed] Björk, they were in front of me and I expect I couldn’t follow them but I could. I saw they start to battle a little bit. I tried to be as close as possible. They had a small contact and I used this opportunity to overtake both cars and I did it and result felt a bit like a victory.
“For the second race it was a little bit worse. The start was not so bad also but on the first corners I was getting attacked from behind so I had to defend. But, at the same time, I felt the car was not on the same pace as the first race.
“Unfortunately, on the first lap after the back straight I saw we were three wide. I saw [Nathanaël] Berthon on my right going into the gravel, I saw his car losing the control and I saw the Audi at 45 degrees going into my car and I thought he’s going to crash me really hard, we are very fast here and it can be a big crash.
“I decide to avoid this crash and I went a little bit to the left, but, unfortunately, Tom Coronel was there. I couldn’t see him, of course. It was totally not on purpose the crash with Tom. From this point Tom was out, I had problems on my car after that, the alignment of the car was totally destroyed and we retire from the race.
“It was a tough weekend, not so much points but I hope in Aragón, my home race next week, we will be on the podium, as last year, I’m sure.”