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Jean-Karl Vernay pleased with race one progress after ‘weird’ qualifying

Jean-Karl Vernay says he is happy with the progress he made in race one of TCR Europe at the Hungaroring following a “weird” qualifying session in which he struggled for grip and traction.

The 2017 TCR International Series champion said he got a poor start after stalling on the grid as he couldn’t see the lights, but after that was happy to jump from 22nd on the grid to finish seventh.

He told TouringCars.Net that although he did not gain on championship leaders Mikel Azcona and Dušan Borković, he was pleased with the result given the circumstances.

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“I couldn’t see the lights at the start,” said Vernay. “So I started to go on the throttle and play with the clutch too early and I stalled. It took me a while to restart the car, but after that the car was good.

“The conditions were really tricky and it was more about confidence and driving well, being smart and overtaking quickly.

“It was possible to do that in the first four laps, and it then took me a little bit more time. The car was great – more like yesterday. It was not easy to score some points, but at least we did that. We’re not coming back on Dušan [Borkovic] and Mikel [Azcona] but it’s better than nothing.”

After failing to make it into Q2, Vernay was at a loss as to why his Audi RS 3 LMS was not working well on the wet tyres.

“Just with the wet tyres it was weird – I had no grip at all, no traction. I was even faster on slick tyres on a wet track [in the race], which is really weird. It is what it is – we were not supposed to be in the top five and we knew that, but we didn’t know we were going to be so far away.”

When asked about his hopes for today’s race [8 July], Vernay said he is hoping for another recovery drive into the points.

“If we can score some good points, that would be good. It just depends on the other guys – if they are a little bit too excited, they are doing some crazy stuff!”

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