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Esteban Guerrieri ‘lucky’ to be able to claim podium in race one

Esteban Guerrieri says he was ‘lucky’ to have been in a position to claim a podium finish in the restarted opening FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) race in Vila Real, after his car had to be rapidly repaired following the first lap pile-up.

Guerrieri was one of the first on the scene in Saturday’s huge smash at the third corner, and as a result he picked up damage to his Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic.

However with help from the mechanics of team-mates Yann Ehrlacher and James Thompson, whose cars were too damaged to make the restart, Guerrieri was able to get out on to the track for the restarted race and claim second, behind race winner Yvan Muller.

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“It was an interesting day,” admitted Guerrieri. “At the first start I would say I was lucky because I’m here. I was in the pack and I don’t know how I got through, but I just appeared in front of all of them.

“Unfortunately, as Yvan says, you don’t want to be here because other people are not able to race, but I think for the future this is a good learning point for all of us.”

Guerrieri praised the mechanics in his team for their effort and admits that he got emotional when he saw the result of what they had achieved in the two-hour race delay.

“I was able to start the race because of the mechanics. I couldn’t believe all the effort they put in. It was really intense, the moment they finished the car and dropped it to the floor, and very emotional as I saw them hugging.

“From Yann’s car, from Thompson’s car, they hugged each other, smiled and said we did it. That was team spirit and I almost felt like crying, it was so emotional, but I had to do the job to bring the car home.

“Nothing broke down, so it was perfect to finish the race and score good points. Sometimes I have been very unlucky during the season with little things, but in this case, I was a bit lucky.

“For the rest, I hope they can repair their cars quickly and race again tomorrow.”

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