WTCR drivers praise ‘joker’ lap in Vila Real
Drivers from the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO have given the ‘joker’ lap the thumbs up after the rallycross-inspired concept spiced up the action in Vila Real today.
Several WTCR OSCARO racers profited from the alternative route to gain or defend positions at WTCR Race of Portugal with Mato Homola holding off Yvan Muller after benefiting from his decision to joker early compared to the Frenchman’s decision to take the joker one lap from home.
“If I can be honest, I did not like the ‘joker’ lap before this event,” said Homola. “But now it’s pretty cool, as Thed [Björk] said it’s kind of the spice on this race, and it could change a lot, especially in the last race. But in the second race it was really close and it was a really good experience to have the joker in Vila Real.”
Björk said: “It adds spice for this track because it is so difficult to overtake. So I think it is good with the joker.”
Muller, the most successful driver in world touring car racing, added: “The ‘joker’ lap is good, anything new that brings a bit of excitement is welcome.”
Comtoyou Racing’s Frédéric Vervisch claimed sixth on the final lap of Race 3, when several drivers took the ‘joker’ lap, having started P21, while Belgian Benjamin Lessennes also profited from an early joker call to take eighth place for Boutsen Ginion Racing in Race 3. The teenager, who had started P12, gained four places in one go when a number of rivals were forced to wait until the final lap of the race to joker following several safety-car interventions.