Yann Ehrlacher described his maiden win in the World Touring Car Championship as an ‘amazing feeling’ but added that he would have preferred to have won on the road, after inheriting victory when Tom Chilton was penalised.
The 20-year-old started the Opening Race from the reverse-grid pole position but was removed from the lead at the first corner when Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Chilton made contact with the LADA.
Ehrlacher held on to second on the road for the rest of the race, before receiving news on the radio with two laps to go that Chilton had been handed a five-second penalty for the first lap contact, giving RC Motorsport’s Ehrlacher his first WTCC win.
Afterwards, the young Frenchman admitted that sharing the press conference with drivers who he had been following for his entire life was a particularly special moment.
“It’s an amazing feeling to share this press conference with a driver like Tiago [Monteiro] and all the other drivers,” said Ehrlacher. “I watched their race since I’m born so to share a press conference with them is just an amazing feeling.”
Ehrlacher added that the incident with Chilton was typical of ‘touring cars’ and he believes the penalty handed to Chilton was disproportionate to the incident.
“I was at the front for the first couple of corners but in the braking he just hit me a little bit on the back,” added Ehrlacher.
“I think a five-second penalty is a bit hard for him but it’s like that. It’s good for me but this is touring cars, there is always touching a little bit, but in the end for sure I was happy when my engineer told me about this five-second penalty.
“Next time I would prefer to win a race by crossing the finishing line first.”
Ehrlacher’s win elevates him to tenth overall in the drivers’ championship standings and fifth in the WTCC Trophy standings.