Flying high, crashing hard: Langeveld’s WTCR adventure continues
Niels Langeveld delivered a fighting performance at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, hitting back from a heavy crash in Free Practice 2 to score points in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO.
With limited knowledge of the 25.378-kilometre layout, Langeveld impressed with P10 in Free Practice 1 before going third fastest of all in a second session that would ultimately prove his undoing.
“I could only do two timed laps in the first session, but was still 10th fastest,” said the Comtoyou Team Audi Sport driver. “In the second session I bolted on fresh tyres and immediately set the fastest lap. That was truly incredible, nobody expected that. I was flying, the car felt good, I had a lot of confidence behind the wheel, so I decided to have one more set of new tyres fitted.”
Langeveld’s problems began on that run, as he explained: “A brief technical issue in exactly the wrong place on the track caused me to crash really hard. That turned my whole weekend into a mess. I was forced to miss First Qualifying entirely. I did take to the track Second Qualifying, but the car’s damage was so extensive that it still wasn’t at 100 per cent and proved quite difficult to drive. This meant I had to start all three races from the back.”
Despite his lowly starting position, Langeveld came through from P26 to P14 in Race 1 and from P26 to P12 in Race 2.
“I passed so many cars in the turns as well as on the straight, as the Audi’s top speed is just huge,” Langeveld said. “With a bit more luck I could have ended up eighth or ninth [in Race 3], but at the start I got tapped which caused me to accidentally hit the pit limiter. That lost me a few places. I suffered a weekend of frustration and emotion, but you learn to deal with that. It is what it is, and I’m still feeling positive.”