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Washed out WTCC race two cancelled

The second World Touring Car Championship race at the Slovakiaring has been cancelled on safety grounds due to the exceptionally wet and thundery weather, it has been confirmed.

The decision has been taken on safety grounds with almost unanimous support from the teams and drivers. Tom Coronel earlier confirmed to TouringCars.Net that if the organisers had attempted to start the race, he would have returned to the pits regardless.

This is the first time in WTCC history that a race has had to be abandoned altogether due to the weather.

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Whilst the majority of drivers agreed with the decision to cancel the race, Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini told TouringCars.Net that he was prepared to start behind the safety car.

“I cannot judge from the garage,” said Tarquini. “It was more or less the situation of the first race. I was expecting to put the car on the grid and maybe start the race behind the safety car and after we could take a decision, but maybe the situation is a bit worse than the first race. Maybe there is a big lake in the middle of the track and for these reasons it’s quite difficult to run.

“I was really surprised [at the decision to cancel the race]. The problem was on the straight for aquaplaning. It was a lot of water, but not deep water like a lake.”

LADA’s James Thompson supported the decision of the championship organisers completely.

“100% the right decision. Safety is always paramount at the end of the day. You can’t risk people’s health. If the race was stopped under red flags because it was dangerous, you can’t then try to start another race. You have to use common sense. A big pat on the back to the officials – I’m sure there’s pressure on both sides but at the end of the day we’ve done the right thing.”

Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente, who would have started in second on the front row of the grid, was disappointed not to have the opportunity to score at the weekend.

“It was a bit expected, it hasn’t stopped raining since race one so obviously conditions are a bit worse,” said Valente to TouringCars.Net. “I’m disappointed because I think we could have gone under the safety car. Obviously it would have been a good decision for me because [we could have gone] under the safety car, do a few laps and I would have got half the points.

“I think maybe we should have at least shown the fans that came here and spent the whole day outside in the rain that we wanted to race at this track, even if deep inside we knew we were not going to race,” added Valente. “We could have maybe shown them that we would try it. It would have been better for the image. But if they say it’s too dangerous, it’s too dangerous.”

The decision to cancel the race means that José María López leads the championship by 25 points from Sébastien Loeb, with Yvan Muller dropping to third, 29 points adrift, due to his race one penalty.

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