Norbert Michelisz says that racing on Sunday in the FIA World touring Car Cup (WTCR) was ‘maybe the most difficult’ of his racing career so far after racing with a wrist injury sustained on Saturday.
Michelisz was clipped by Rob Huff’s Volkswagen in the opening race on Saturday, in which the entire field was caught up in a dramatic pile-up at the start of the race.
The contact jinked the steering wheel inside the Hungarian’s car, giving him an injury, even though he was the only driver to get through the carnage and make it back to the pits.
With his Hyundai i30 N TCR repaired for Sunday, Michelisz was able to guide it to a fifth and third place finish respectively to keep his title hopes alive, although he admits it was a difficult day of racing.
“First of all, yesterday at this time of the day I was close to packing my bags and going back home,” said Michelisz. “Like Thed [Björk] and Gabriele [Tarquini] said it was just an amazing job for YMR and BRC Racing Team to get the cars back on track.
“The least I could do was to give them something back, so I’m really happy to have finished on the podium.
“But I have to say this day was maybe the most difficult of my racing career so far. So, I’m really happy and really proud.”
Michelisz admits that when he first took to the Vila Real circuit on Sunday he was even considering not racing, such was the pain he felt in his wrist.
“The whole day was a bit tricky because of my wrist which was injured. The first time when I sat in the car, after 30 seconds when I tried to manoeuvre the steering wheel, I thought about how I would explain to the team that I cannot drive today.
“Then I tried to put my feet up, took it easy in qualifying and it was working a bit better than expected in the race.
“I’m happy overall to have raced today and really happy to have scored important points for the championship.”
Michelisz leaves Portugal sixth overall in the drivers’ standings on 135 points, 47 adrift of leader Yvan Muller.