BRC stars battle pain and illness to land WTCR podiums
BRC Racing Team drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz were among the heroes in Vila Real at the weekend, landing second and third in Race 3 respectively despite being dogged by illness and injury.
Tarquini (pictured) was struck down by flu in the build-up to the WTCR Race of Portugal weekend and was unable to complete his usual preparations, leaving him lacking in energy for much of the event.
Michelisz, meanwhile, hurt his right wrist in the multi-car accident in Race 1 on Saturday and drove in considerable pain on Saturday.
“It was a tough weekend because the weather conditions and the temperature is not the best for flu and a high fever I had until yesterday,” Tarquini said after Race 3 on Sunday. “Today in qualifying I was not able to do one lap, made a lot of mistakes and used a lot of tyres. It was very tough, but I thought I must try. Fortunately, on my very last lap I did a good lap. The car was very good and I must thank all the BRC and Hyundai team for such a fantastic car, even with two half-drivers like me and Norbi proved that the car on this track is really good. I was really happy to finish the race because after I was close to collapsing. I don’t feel a lot of power now, but enough to survive.”
Michelisz said: “The whole day was a bit tricky because of my wrist which was injured yesterday. The first time this morning when I sat in the car, after 30 seconds when I tried to manoeuvre on the steering wheel I thought about how I would explain to the team that I cannot drive today. Then I tried to put my feet up, took it easy in qualifying and it was working a bit better than expected in the race.”
Tarquini is up to second in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO standings. Michelisz is sixth.