Münnich Motorsport’s Yann Ehrlacher admits that he is ‘really happy’ to leave the Hungaroring second overall in the driver’s standings, after claiming his first win in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) at the weekend.
Despite retiring from the second race with an engine issue, Ehrlacher emerged from the second weekend of the WTCR season with the third-biggest points haul of all drivers.
A win in race one and a fourth in race three have elevated the Frenchman to second overall in the standings, although he has a 36-point deficit to early leader Gabriele Tarquini.
“Honestly, if someone would have told me [before the season] that I would race in WTCR I would be really happy, and if in Marrakech someone would have told me that I would have been P2 in the championship after six races, I would have signed straight away, so for sure I am really happy,” said Ehrlacher to TouringCars.Net.
“The gap is quite big in the championship with Gabriele getting so many points every weekend, so of course it’s still a long way to go. Being P2 and the first Honda by far is good.
“I’m happy with the beginning of the season, even though in race two I had an engine issue, which was a bit of a disappointment. But it’s a mechanical issue and I’m sure other guys will have that too.”
Ehrlacher admits that he needs to keep finishing inside the top five in order to remain in contention, with the quality and consistency of drivers meaning that just finishing inside the top ten is not good enough.
“Of course, we have to be in the points all the time, but when you see the quality of the field, only being in the points is not enough,” continued the 22-year-old. “You have to be in the good points, and I mean top five, otherwise it is only small points which is not helpful for the championship.”
The Honda racer does not expect to have any more mechanical issues in upcoming races, saying that the engine issue which affected him in race two was caused by the unique nature of racing at the Hungaroring.
“I knew that we are struggling a bit with the cooling system of the Honda. On this kind of track there is no wind or air, so following the field in race two became a bit critical and I had no other choice but to go for the pits.
“I think we will manage to find a solution for that, and the Nürburgring Nordschleife and Zandvoort are not typical tracks to have engine issues at.”