Josh Files was happy to score a podium in the reverse-grid TCR Europe race at the Hungaroring, but says he wants to see drivers “calm down” in terms of aggression for the next round at Assen.
The two-time TCR Germany champion failed to finish the opening race at Budapest after contact with Mikel Azcona, but finished third in race two after starting eighth.
He told TouringCars.Net that working with teammate Attila Tassi paid off in race two, and now the team are focusing on bagging strong results after a disappointing run of previous races.
“Me and Attila [Tassi] actually made the decision today that whatever happens we’ve got to work together,” said Files.
“Because I think we’re a little bit too far behind in the driver’s championship so now we’re going to work to score consistent high points – both of us, for the team.
“And in the race you saw there we gave each other plenty of space, when he was faster I let him go and when I was faster he let me go. So that was working really well.”
Despite being pleased with today’s result, the British driver was disappointed with the aggression of many drivers in both races this weekend.
“My car has taken a lot of damage on the back, not the front so that says one thing for me,” he said. “I think the exhaust is a little bit bent because the car after lap two was not breathing very well and it felt a bit lacking in power.
“It just seems that everyone wanted to move forward, and I understand that but no-one seems to like to overtake anymore. I think the case is just push them out and that’s the way. I don’t know if this comes from yesterday’s race where there was a lot of that, and they sort of let it all go and now everyone believes well if they can do it then I can do it.
“We’ll see what happens in Assen but I’d like to see it calm down a bit to be honest. I’d like to go back to fair racing and hard-fought racing – rubbing is OK, it’s touring cars – but just smashing people off for me is not OK.”
After this weekend, Files believes the drivers as a collective should re-evaluate their driving standards.
“At least today everyone seemed to stay on the track even though there was a lot of bashing,” said Files.
“I think after this weekend, we as a collective group of drivers and people need to look at ourselves as a championship maybe and say OK, let’s race hard and fair, made a good show for the TV at the end of the day because I’m sure it looked great, but we can’t keep having cars coming back with five or ten thousand Euros worth of damage every race because otherwise budgets are going to go through the roof for everyone. So I think we have to put a line in the sand for this one and for Assen just chill out a bit.”
In the second race, Files also had contact with championship contender Dušan Borković, who locked up and hit the back of Files’ Honda.
“I actually didn’t know it was Dušan until after the race,” Files explains. “I knew I was making the corner, everything was going nicely and suddenly I had a big whack at the start in turn one at the start and I was told it was Dušan after the race.
“And he hit me quite hard – really hard – actually again at turn 12 on lap one or two. I’m not really sure why this was either because when I looked in the mirror he had a lot of damage and obviously I lost two places and it was just all a bit odd.”
Although Files was left frustrated with driving standards, he was pleased with the pace of his Honda Civic Type R FK7 at the twisty Hungaroring circuit.
“We’ve had great pace – truthfully the compensation weight has helped us because we’re quite light but maybe that’s a good indication of the BoP being not quite correct because we started the season with 20 kilos less, and maybe they should go back there.
“We’re taking it race by race, trying to get the results and pick up wins wherever we can and again do a good job for Hell Energy by KCMG.
“Me and Attila are pushing now to win the teams championship and the drivers championship will just take care of itself really – at this stage we can’t look at it anymore I think we just have to see what’s happening in Barcelona.”