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Kris Richard: Hyundai straight-line deficit is ‘horrible’

Target Competition’s Kris Richard was left frustrated after qualifying in ninth position for the opening TCR Europe race at Spa-Francorchamps, after struggling with oversteer and a lack of straight-line speed.

Richard’s stable-mate, joint-championship leader Dušan Borković, was the fastest of the non-Volkswagen Group machinery, 1.3 seconds adrift of pole.

Richard told TouringCars.Net he found the qualifying session extremely frustrating, and that going down the long straights in sectors one and three was a horrible feeling.

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“We struggled a lot with the speed,” said Richard. “Not only the straight-line speed I also have to complain about the oversteer a lot in the fast corners so that is also not positive in Eau Rouge when you’re struggling a little bit with oversteer.

“We switch to sixth gear and then it’s like driving with 225 [km/h], 226, 227, it’s horrible. You really feel the engine wants to go a little bit more and then it loses the power immediately.

“It’s a little bit frustrating because on every corner you risk everything and then you lose it all on the straights. But we cannot change the rules it is like it is.”

Despite this, he is hoping to make progress in this afternoon’s race [9th June], but admits this will be no mean feat.

“It’s always difficult to gain positions when you have a car with low top speed, we’ll have to see.

“I have my teammate directly behind me. So let’s see what he can do, it will be close.”

Richard’s qualifying position will mean he starts the reversed-grid race two of the weekend from the front row.

Race one gets underway at 17:20 CEST (16:20 BST).

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