Operation Hungaroring after WTCR racer Szabó misses out in Marrakech
Zsolt Szabó is already looking ahead to his home round of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO as P17 in Race 1 was as good as it would get for the former sim-racer in Morocco.
After a crash in Free Practice 1 left the Hungarian’s Cupra TCR in need of rapid repair by his Zengő Motorsport mechanics, the 22-year-old was hoping for better fortune in the races.
While P17 from P22 in the first counter showed promise on the back of scant pre-season testing, hefty contact from Gianni Morbidelli in Race 2 put an end to his weekend.
“It was pretty amazing that during the qualifying session I was only four-tenths slower than Pepe [Oriola, fellow Cupra driver] and it was our first race without any tests,” said Szabó.
“In Race 2 the start was really good and I felt the pace and I overtook two cars and then they started attacking me really hard so I had to defend a lot. There was an Audi on the inside and I felt he was going to out-brake himself so I went to the outside, and I don’t know why (Gianni) Morbidelli braked really late, there was a little space but it was impossible that he could turn in, and he turned on me and broke my rear suspension, which was why I couldn’t continue or start Race 3 also.
“It’s a shame, but next for us is my home race at the Hungaroring. The Cupra’s got good pace, it’ll be impossible to fight with the Hyundais at the moment, but we can play for the reversed grid and hope for some good results.”
Szabó’s Zengő Motorsport team-mate Norbert Nagy left Marrakech having finished in the top 16 in all three races on his step up to world level.