Norbert Michelisz says he is planning to ‘make up’ for causing the red flags in the opening World Touring Car Championship race in Macau, where the Honda driver crashed into the walls to end the race early.
Michelisz had been hunting down Volvo’s Thed Björk for fourth on the penultimate lap of the then-eight lap race, but he made a mistake at Police bend and clipped the inside barrier.
That then broke the steering on his Civic, sending him into the outside barrier where he blocked the circuit and was also collected by team-mate Esteban Guerrieri and the Citroëns of Rob Huff and Tom Chilton.
“I started eighth and I was classified fifth on a track where overtaking is tough, so really it’s an OK result,” said Michelisz of the countback result, which saw him keep his fifth position.
“The circumstances are quite frustrating though: I made a mistake, crashed and blocked the track and unfortunately the next car was Esteban, who also had some damage.
“I always stay a little bit away from the apex at that corner because it’s dusty, but this time I was just too close to the barrier on the inside, clipped it, broke the steering and went into the wall.
“I’ve scored the same points I would have done otherwise, so it’s OK. As long as the car is repairable, I will make up for it tomorrow.”
Michelisz has not lost any ground to Björk compared to his position entering the weekend, with the gap at 16.5 points, but he is still frustrated at the mistake he made, which sees the Civic receiving a new gearbox, steering rack and front subframe ahead of Sunday’s Main Race.
“I just touched the inside a very little bit, but it was enough for the steering arm to break, and then I was just a passenger.
“I’m always smiling a bit, but from the inside it’s like a volcano now.”