Why clutch burn meant no WTCR winning return for Vernay
Jean-Karl Vernay has revealed how a clutch issue in Second Qualifying ultimately cost him a shot at his first victory in the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO.
Vernay started the reverse grid Race 2 from the DHL Pole Position only for a sluggish getaway to drop him to third initially before he fought back to second place behind winner Néstor Girolami.
“I had no clutch,” the Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport driver said. “I burned the clutch during qualifying and had to change it. I had absolutely no feeling with the clutch. I tried to do my best at the start but it was obviously a poor start although I made a good recovery.”
Vernay also revealed how he had come close to not finishing due to damage picked up in the opening exchanges.
“I was super-lucky with the wheel, it was completely destroyed and I had a massive vibration so I thought it was going to be over,” he said. “But finally we finished the race and it was good. I was worried about the wheel and I said on the last lap, ‘chill, second place is good’. But if I was not worried about not finishing the race I think I would have gone for gone for [Néstor] because we were super-quick.”