Norbert Michelisz secured another top ten finish during the tenth round of the 2011 FIA World Touring Car Championship at the Japanese circuit of Suzuka.
Having qualified thirteenth for both the Japanese races, the Hungarian brought his Zengo-Dension Team’s BMW 320TC home inside the top ten in both races, but lost out on tenth after race one as he was given a thirty second penalty for speeding at the rolling start.
At the start of the opening race, Michelisz avoided the problems ahead of him heading down into the first corner – he held twelfth by using the run off area to avoid the spinning SUNRED SR Leon 1.6T of Tiago Monteiro – who retired on the spot.
After the Safety Car was withdrawn, Michelisz was able to climb up into the top ten, and score another point towards the Championship total. A post race penalty though relegated Michelisz down to fifteenth.
The second race of the weekend at Suzuka saw Michelisz start thirteenth once again and on the opening lap, he moved up three positions to run tenth and as the race progressed, ‘Norbi’ moved up to ninth, and the Zengo-Dension Team driver drove a calm, sensible race to add two more points to the Championship points total.
Michelisz said after the races: “Starting from 13th on the grid on both races I didn’t anticipate changing the world so I’m not let down. If somebody would have offered me the ninth and tenth places, in a weak moment I would have signed but it keeps disturbing me that I couldn’t keep up the pace of the others. Especially on Race 1 because there were some tactics in the second one as I tried to separate (Kristian) Poulsen from the group ahead of me in places where I knew he would be unable to overtake. I wanted to make some room for myself to be able to deal only with him behind me.”
Next up for Michelisz and the Zengo-Dension Team is a trip to China and the Shanghai Tianma Circuit over the 5th/6th November.