WestCoast Racing’s Aku Pellinen says that he is on the ‘front foot’ racing in the TCR International Series at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, with the young Finn having previous experience of the circuit.
Pellinen has been one of the stars of the start of the 2016 season, having scored top ten finishes in each of the four races to-date.
The 22-year-old has raced at the Belgian circuit in the past, having competed in the single-make trophy class of the 2014 European Touring Car Cup when the series was supporting the WTCC at the circuit.
“I am very familiar with Spa, having raced there several times in practically every category I’ve entered,” said Pellinen. “I think that puts me on the front foot going into this weekend, because, not only have I had good results there in previous years, but I know how difficult it is to understand how to extract the most from each of the circuit’s corners and its intricacies. You have to be quite brave and it isn’t a track you can learn in just a few laps.”
Pellinen admits that he is aiming to secure a maiden podium in the championship, having come close to the feat in the second race of the season in Bahrain, before his third-place finish was taken away from him for a false start.
“It’s not going to be easy for WestCoast Racing and our rival teams to prepare cars for Spa, but I think we can do a good job together,” added Pellinen. “The podium is my first aim, but I know I need to improve my driving style and the car to prevent silly mistakes, and that I need to be more constant in qualifying and the races.”
Team Principal Greger Petersson is cautious for the weekend’s races, with the leading car of Gianni Morbidelli, who is currently leading thechampionship, having to carry 30 kg of success ballast for his performances so far.
“It will be a hard weekend, as we are still in the process of developing the cars and improving reliability,” said Petersson. “As usual, we need some luck.
“I think Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is a track that suits our strong driver line-up, but we have to remember Gianni is on maximum ballast, which we have seen can be hard to carry.”