Yann Ehrlacher is happy to be back in the fight for the championship after claiming victory in the opening FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) race at Zandvoort, elevating him to joint second overall.
Ehrlacher beat pole-sitter Rob Huff off the line at the start of the race to lead early on, and the Frenchman was untroubled thereafter, having twice had to reassert his lead following a red flag and safety car period respectively.
It was the Münnich Motorsport driver’s second win of the season, elevating him to joint second in the points standings with Gabriele Tarquini and 19 points behind his uncle Yvan Muller.
“We knew that it’s quite difficult to overtake on this track, so the only way was to do a good start and we did it,” said Ehrlacher. “After that we had a bit of a problem with the red flag and the safety car three laps from the end, when we had a big margin.
“There was a bit of suspense with some difficulties, but the pace was there and the Honda was really quick.
“We had the pace and when you have the pace on this kind of track, and the guys behind are fighting each other, I was able to save my tyres to the end just in case something happened.
“It was a good idea – the pace was still there after the restart, so there was no big panic.”
Ehrlacher praised his team for giving him a car to win, marking the third victory for the new Honda Civic Type-R in 2018.
“Big thanks to the team because they are really working hard for that and they deserve this one.
“I’m just happy now that we are back in the fight for points in the championship. It’s now easy to forget our difficult weekend on the Nordschleife, so I’m very happy.”