Josh Files believes he got the maximum out of his car in the first TCR Europe race at Zandvoort, despite being passed by the Audi of Jaap van Lagen for the final podium position with five laps to go.
A strong opening lap saw Files make his way into third position, benefitting from a poor start for pole-sitter van Lagen and getting by Dušan Borković at the first corner.
But the Brit could not hold the position for the race distance eventually succumbed to the pace-setting Audi of van Lagen in the final half of the race.
Files admits that further work needs to be done by the KCMG team, but was happy to have helped team-mate Tassi to a first podium of the season by holding van Lagen at bay for so long.
“We need to work on ourselves, as we’re obviously missing something at the moment; the car is still a very good car” said Files to TouringCars.Net.
“I made a good start into P3, but we have no performance in comparison to the CUPRAs, the Audis and if there was a Volkswagen in the race I’m sure we wouldn’t keep up with them either. They’re leaps and bounds ahead of us.
“The only good thing was that, because I held up van Lagen for so long, Attila was able to hold on to his second place, because I’m not sure he would have been able to hold the Audi off either. That was the positive from today.”
Files admitted to being surprised by the pass that van Lagen made for third at Turn 1, with the Leopard Lukoil driver coming through with a late lunge at the famous Tarzan hairpin.
“To be honest, that was my own fault and I didn’t think he would make the move there. I thought I’d done enough, but he’s got brilliant brakes and is able to carry a massive amount of mid-corner speed.
“I’m not going to go into BoP at this stage, but it does look like its swung VAG Group’s way, as I said yesterday. That was about all we could do and both cars today were about as fast as they could go.”
Files believes a victory is possible in Monday’s reverse grid race, where he starts from fourth, if he can get into the lead early on in the race.
“If I can get into the lead I can hold it and I would defend like my life depended upon it. But it’s all about getting into the lead…”