Norwegian racer Stian Paulsen said he was very pleased to bring his CUPRA home in the points after running used tyres in the reverse-grid race of TCR Europe at Spa-Francorchamps.
Paulsen knew he would struggle for pace on older rubber, but was glad to finish in the points and not sustain any damage after running at the sharp end throughout the weekend.
He told TouringCars.Net that he was happy with fifth position in race two, after struggling in the opening laps and his race strategy being hurt by the safety car.
“P5 was OK but I was not fast enough in the first laps and that’s probably because I didn’t have any new tyres to put on today [Sunday],” Paulsen explained.
“And I guess all the guys in front had new tyres, and also behind me and in the first laps I was losing a lot of time. I understood it though because I knew before the start with old tyres you cannot keep up the speed on the first laps so I thought I’ve just got to stay as high up as possible and try to do a good pace in the end but then we got the safety car.
“I think that hurt us a lot because the other guys could cool down the tyres.”
Paulsen also mentioned that he should have finished lower down the order, but was lucky to benefit from the misfortune of others who had contact or mechanical woes.
“I got three places for free so normally I should have been P8 because some guys crashed and some guys stopped,” he said.
“It’s not what we want, we should be faster. But we will continue to work on it and try to make it better for next time.
“I’m glad I got some points today and we don’t have any damage on the car, so I’m really happy about that.”
When asked about his expectations for the Hungaroring, Paulsen said he was hopeful of strong results at a circuit he has enjoyed good results at in the past.
“I like the track – I managed to do well there last year – it was the best race for me last year so hopefully we can do a little bit better than last year and have some good positions.”