New TCN Logo

Upcoming events:

New TCN Logo

Norbert Michelisz predicts stronger race pace for Honda

Leading Honda driver Norbert Michelisz is predicting stronger race pace than that shown in qualifying, where the Hungarian put his Civic in fourth on the grid for the main World Touring Car Championship race.

Having scored an outright front row grid position for the main race in France, Honda were left as the third-best manufacturer in Slovakia qualifying, being out-performed by both works’ Citroëns and LADA’s Nicky Catsburg.

Of the works’ Honda trio, Hungarian Michelisz emerged as the fastest in fourth, ahead of team-mate Rob Huff in fifth.

- Advertisement -

But Michelisz believes that Honda’s race pace will be much better on Sunday, thanks in part to the nature of the Slovakiaring circuit and the fact that the Civics are 80 kg lighter than their Citroën rivals.

“My target was to at least be on the podium this weekend and it still is,” explained Michelisz, who is looking to add to his double podium from the season opener. “Going fastest in Q2 was great, but we knew it would be very difficult to make another step in Q3 to challenge for pole, so fourth for the main race and seventh for the opening race is okay.

“We know that the Honda is always a stronger car in race set-up than in qualifying, so I have no doubt we can show good pace and put our rivals in front of us under some very big pressure.

“We are still lighter weight-wise than our main rivals and I expect us to take advantage of this tomorrow to a greater extent than we did at Paul Ricard because of the nature of the circuit.”

JAS Motorsport Team Principal Alessandro Mariani went as far as to call the qualifying result ‘pretty good’, despite not emulating the season opener and still being out-performed by the vastly heavier C-Elysée cars.

“Qualifying was a pretty good result for us,” he added. “Ever since the WTCC moved to TC1 cars in 2014, we’ve never been able to fully exploit our car’s performance on new tyres, but our race pace has always been good.

“To have three cars in the top seven for both of tomorrow’s races, and Norbi fastest in Q2 as well, we can be confident of some strong results because we know what our race pace is.”

Mariani also expressed his delight at the result of the second-ever MAC3 [Manufacturers Against the Clock] session, which saw Honda tie with Citroën in a dead heat.

“MAC3 was fantastic,” added Mariani. “I thought we would win because we were ahead right up to the final sector, but setting the same time as our main rival, and sharing the points, means great excitement for the fans.

“We had a strategy, which worked quite well, and definitely gives us a good platform on which to build throughout the season.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

- Advertisement -

Related News

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here