The WTCR season starts now, says Gene
Jordi Gené says he and his fellow CUPRA-powered drivers should be judged on their performances at this weekend’s WTCR Race of Portugal, and not on what happened on the Nürburgring Nordschleife earlier this month.
The Zengő Motorsport WTCR – FIA World Touring Car quintet all struggled for form in Germany with Gené, Mikel Azcona and Rob Huff all failing to score, leaving Bence Boldizs as the squad’s only top-15 finisher.
But Gené has highlighted the unique nature of the 25.378-kilometre Nordschleife as being unrepresentative in comparison to the other tracks on the WTCR calendar.
“I just want to forget that weekend,” said the Catalan racer. “We had so many issues and problems. The Nordschleife is not the best place to have a comeback after five years and it was really tough for all of us. The best thing is it’s over and we’ve had some time to prepare everything properly, the cars are really fully updated to what they should be.
“Estoril is a circuit where no one has done much racing, some people have done some testing so people have some memories from a few years ago. But it’s a place where we all start from zero, it’s the first ‘normal’ circuit that we’re going to find, so it’s going to be the first place where we can see where we are and what is the real pace and what we can really do. I hope we show up much better than in Nordschleife.”
Asked about the specific issues that hampered him in Germany, Gené said: “We have a very good car, honestly. The car showed well last year with Mikel, he’s a very good driver, and he showed that the car has some good speed. We didn’t do the testing that we expected during the winter, but we know the car has a good base and can perform really well.
“At the Nordschleife we had so many unexpected problems like the front splitter that broke in all cars because of a faulty production. Then we started at the back and it was difficult to come back up and then there were some accidents and some failures. The Nordschleife didn’t show the potential that we have. I’m not saying that we’re going to be the favourite or the car to beat but I am sure we have a car that’s going to be competitive and capable of winning races. Let’s see from now on if we can start and show where we can be.”