Yann Ehrlacher hopes that youth will give him the edge when the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) hits the Nürburgring Nordschleife this week, with the Frenchman seeking to close the gap to points leader Gabriele Tarquini.
Fresh from scoring a first win of the season last time out in Hungary, Ehrlacher is looking forward to racing a touring car on the legendary Nordschleife for the second time.
Last year, in an independent TC1-spec LADA, Ehrlacher scored a brace of ninth-place finishes. The 21-year-old hopes that with 56-year-old Tarquini as his main rival, age will give him an advantage on the 25.9 kilometre, 170-corner circuit.
Having returned to the circuit last week in order to refresh himself with the Nordschleife, Ehrlacher told TouringCars.Net that he was a fan of the lengthy track.
“I feel confident on this track, as you have to push and I like this kind of track, where you have to pull your balls out to make the time,” said Ehrlacher.
“Maybe it’s a track where that will make the difference with Gabriele. I have nothing against his age, but he is just technically perfecting every slow-speed corner and he is very good at managing the tyres. Maybe the extra strength we have, being a bit younger, will be helpful for the Nordschleife.
“It’s not an endurance test, but to make the time there you have to really pull your balls out, because you have very scary corners and you can lose a lot of time and you really have to be pushing like hell.
“Maybe now with the age he will be a bit more careful hopefully and it will help us a bit to close the gap with him.”
Ehrlacher also praised the atmosphere of the event, which is held as a support race to the famous 24-Hour race, attracting up to 250,000 race fans to the circuit over the almost week-long event.
“It’s just insane – I was there for the first time last year, and honestly I enjoyed it a lot. The whole atmosphere around the 24 Hours is just insane.
“When you have a look around the track and you see all the guys supporting the race and just partying all week long, it’s just insane.
“It’s great to see this kind of festival in racing.”