Esteban Guerrieri admits that starting from fourth and seventh for Sunday’s Opening and Main World Touring Car Championship races in Argentina ‘is not the best’ but he insists it was better to push for pole than to end up in tenth.
Just as on his WTCC début at Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in 2016, Guerrieri punched above his weight and made it through to Q3 in qualifying.
But the Argentine driver didn’t have the pace of the factory Volvos and Hondas, ending up in fourth and over half a second shy of the pole position time.
Guerrieri might have even ended up in fifth, but for Volvo’s Thed Björk making a slight mistake on his Q3 run as well.
“From my side it was a quite positive Saturday,” said Guerrieri. “When I come to my home race I want to be 100 % and when you are in Q3 try to go for pole.
“Finishing fourth is not the best because I am starting fourth and seventh for tomorrow. But it was the goal to go for everything rather than trying to finish P10. I couldn’t imagine doing that racing here in Termas.”
Guerrieri, who has already been victorious in the first race of the 2017 season, knows that taking the fight to the works’ cars will be difficult in the two races, but the 32-year-old says that as he doesn’t have a title to fight for he could take more risks in the races.
“The car had a good potential; we were P2 this morning and we knew probably the Volvos [would be] very strong with Nicky.
“For us this race is quite clear to understand how we are standing. It’s quite clear to see Volvo and Honda are really strong and have improved from last year. Our competition last year was Citroën – we were similar on times but this year we were half a second quicker.
“I also didn’t feel good on the braking; my braking performance was not there compared to last year when looking at the data.
“Overall I’m very thankful to the Campos guys for putting it all together with a very limited budget. We are doing so far so good and we will see tomorrow what happens in the race.
“Obviously they are battling for the championship and we are there to see what is going on so it will be an interesting one.”