Pre-season Esports WTCR champion's Q&A: Yann Ehrlacher
With two wins and 186 points, Cyan Racing Lynk & Co’s Yann Ehrlacher, 24, is the winner of the Pre-season Esports WTCR Championship, which was decided during a seven-way title battle at a virtual Sepang International Circuit last night (Sunday). This is what the Frenchman had to say following his triumph on the RaceRoom Racing Experience platform.
How significant is winning the Pre-season Esports WTCR title?
“It’s always good for the motivation, the self-confidence. It’s only virtual but as we can compare more and more the virtual to the real it’s always good to win a competition when you are a competitor and you want to win everything basically. It’s just like the challenge of throwing a ball of paper into a trash bin, you want to win and it’s the same with every kind of challenge. But this one is more related to what we are here to do this year and I am pleased to have won. It’s a good start for the real season.”
But it wasn’t the best start to a championship challenge when you crashed at the first corner of the first round at Salzburgring with Mikel Azcona?
“I’m not like a big professional of simracing and I had an issue on my sim when we did the Beat the Drivers series against the professional simracers earlier this year. There was some pressure on the handbrake so the game was slowing my car down. But five minutes before Salzburgring I discovered this and solved the issue. Before I had been dead slow and I say I don’t want to train, I will just make the races to be on the grid. At the first corner in Salzburgring I braked too late, not anticipating the brakes will be cool, so I collided with Mikel. It was a tough start but then it went a bit better.”
When would you say your fortunes really improved?
“At the Hungaroring I had contact with Azcona, maybe it was the payback of Salzburgring! After that we had no contact in the races and at Slovakia Ring it went well and I won. We also won at Ningbo. In the races where we had no contact, we were quick and winning.”
What have you been able to take away from competing in Pre-season Esports WTCR?
“The purpose of the simulator is a tool to learn the tracks and we spend hours on the sim on all of these tracks to remind you of the track, the environment around the track, to get the feel of the place even though it’s only virtual. For me Salzburgring was completely new, I had no idea but now I know the track so Pre-season Esports WTCR was a good tool for this.”
You’ve won in WTCR virtually but now you’ve got a few more weeks to wait for the real thing to begin in Austria in September. How desperate are you for the wait to end?
“I can’t describe this, it’s the only thing I am waiting for when I am waking up. I am going to bed thinking tomorrow it’s the race day but then waking up and realising it’s not the race day, so you hope tomorrow will be the raceday! I’m just waiting for it to start, I don’t remember being so impatient to start the season.”