The King begins but not with a win… Ehrlacher’s WTCR title defence is underway
Yann Ehrlacher twice finished in the points on the Nürburgring Nordschleife last weekend, but it wasn’t the hoped-for start to the flying Frenchman’s WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup title defence.
Arriving at WTCR Race of Germany full of confidence in his Goodyear-equipped Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 TCR, Ehrlacher’s chances increased when he went fastest of all in Free Practice on Thursday.
But a troubled Friday Qualifying left the 24-year-old ninth on the grid for Race 2, albeit on the front row for the reverse-grid opener.
“It started pretty well with the FPs, but I didn’t feel really confident with the car [in Qualifying],” Ehrlacher explained. “I had some issues with my rear brakes so I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted. At the end it was P9, it was not the best we could do but at least we minimised the damage. I don’t like that way of racing but we [hoped to] use the reverse grid to score good points and optimise our chances in the races.”
Ehrlacher, who won Race 2 on the legendary 25.378-kilometre track last season, continued: “The pace was there I would say but we’ve been quite unlucky. We set the pace in practice so the car was going well and we were confident but we had a couple of issues in Qualifying that didn’t allow us to be in the front. We were quite slow in the straights [in the races] and we have not the chance to defend anything at the moment.
“But we miss the podium in Race 1, it was an easy podium, even the win, because of guys crashing into us. Race 2 was exactly the same in T1 so every time I dropped 10 places and we finished P8 and P10, which is quite a bad result. Anyway, we have to work from this, there was nothing really we could have done but we’ll see the next time.”