Attila Tassi says he is happy to have qualified in seventh for the first TCR International Series race at the Zhejiang International Circuit on Sunday, considering that his Honda Civic is the heaviest car in the field.
At 1,335 kg, Tassi’s car is the heaviest in the field, thanks to carrying 30 kg of success ballast from Thailand and 20 kg of Balance of Performance [BoP] weight.
The Hungarian was therefore pleased to have qualified in seventh, especially considering that he was less than a tenth slower than his vastly more experienced team-mate Roberto Colciago, who is running a Civic which is 20 kg lighter than Tassi’s.
“I’m actually quite happy with this result,” said Tassi to TouringCars.Net. “I’m carrying 30 kg of success ballast from Thailand and between myself and the Volkswagens there is 70 kg of weight difference, which is quite a big step.
“In practice we were working on the car set-up and my driving style wasn’t quite as good as it should be, so between practice and qualifying I tried to get all the information that I had. I watched some videos from Roberto, and we improved on the car set-up as well as on my driving style, which seems like it has worked out well.
“We are happy with P7 and we did a good job, as Roberto is only a few hundredths ahead of me. It is good to see that my pace is like his even when I am carrying 30 kg more than him.”
Tassi, who has lost the lead of the drivers’ championship standings after qualifying, is expecting to lose further ground to Jean-Karl Vernay in race one before regaining some of the lost ground in race two, if things go according to his plans.
“The first race will probably be an advantage for the Volkswagens as they are at the front, but in the second race if we can make a good start, me and Roberto, we can maybe be in the same positions after the first couple of corners.
“We know that Honda has a good starting programme, and all season we have had quite good starts, so we will try to do the same tomorrow in the races and see what happens.
“My aim is to be on the podium in the second race and score as many points as I can.”