Dušan Borković underlined his delight at starting the 2018 TCR Europe Series campaign with a double victory after his late race move on Jean-Karl Vernay in the final contest at Paul Ricard.
The Target Competition racer stressed his pragmatic approach to scoring consistent points for the championship beforehand, but found himself second in the opening exchanges after some intelligent driving whilst others around struggled in the changeable conditions.
Borković’s Hyundai i30 N TCR has been the car to beat in dry conditions around the 3.6 mile Le Castellet venue this weekend, and with a safety car period for Igor Stefanovski’s crashed car to be recovered, the circuit began to dry once again.
The Serbian’s pursuit of Audi Sport racer Vernay was relentless, but eventually a move to the inside of Curbe des Signes gave Borković his second win of the weekend, and extended his championship lead to 19 points.
“I really didn’t want to push too hard, but then I saw it was slippery and really dangerous to drive, but that I was faster at some points than others,” he explained to TouringCars.net
“I saw there were parts I could push a little bit harder, where it wasn’t so slippery, and [when it was wet] I was maybe more careful than the others.
“Then suddenly I was in second after two or three laps, but I didn’t know what would happen [after the restart] because I expected more rain. I really didn’t want to attack, but at the end it was getting drier and I saw that I had the pace to win.
“I tried to overtake Jean-Karl, I drove really fair and didn’t want to attack too much at some points. I took my chance, overtook him and won!”
The result proved even more satisfying, given Borković hadn’t driven the car until Friday [4th May], let alone in wet conditions.
“I didn’t know what all the buttons on the wheel did, at the beginning of the race I was on the radio saying ‘okay, where are the wipers, can I change some settings, what can I do?’,” he said.
“I really don’t know the car still, but surprisingly it’s going really well.”
He also stressed the need to take his chances as the championship heads next to Zandvoort over the weekend of 20-21 May.
“It depends what my chances are on that weekend. If I’m slower, I’ll be satisfied with P3, P4 or P5, but if I have some chances – like I had here – I will take them, for sure.”