Alain Menu has suggested that his TCR International Series competition ‘should not fight too hard’ against the new Hyundai i30 N TCR in Sunday’s races at the Zhejiang Circuit in China.
Menu made the comments after he demonstrated the pace of the new car on Saturday, going fastest in Q1 whilst team-mate Gabriele Tarquini put the car in second in a perfect scenario for the new car.
But the marque are running the car with a temporary homologation, allowing further changes to be made to the developing car, making them ineligible to compete in the following Q2 session and leaving the duo in 13th and 14th on the grid respectively for Sunday’s two races.
“We had a good feeling that the car would be quick, so the goal was to try and get a win,” said Menu. “But at the time we certainly didn’t realise that we would not be in Q2, so now starting from P13 or P14 it’s going to be a near-impossible task.
“We’re going to try [to win], but I think the drivers in front of us will have to bear in mind that we don’t score points, so even if we end up in front of them they will still get their normal points.
“Maybe some of them should not fight too hard – I am suggesting to them to be clever.”
Menu also praised Hyundai Motorsport, BRC Racing Team and Tarquini for their efforts in developing the car through 2017 prior to his involvement in the project in recent weeks.
“I only joined recently, so all credit goes to Hyundai, the team and Gabriele for designing and building such a good car. I’m only providing my input recently, but at the end of the day I’m still learning about the car.
“It’s a shame that we could not go through to Q2, but those are the rules. It’s a great result; I think it shows the job that they’ve done, and that the car is a very good car.”