Mikel Azcona happy to retain narrow points lead despite ‘difficult’ Budapest weekend

Mikel Azcona happy to retain narrow points lead despite ‘difficult’ Budapest weekend

Photo: TCR Media

Current points leader Mikel Azcona says he is happy to have retained a slender margin in the TCR Europe championship despite a “difficult” weekend at the Hungaroring.

The Spaniard’s advantage has been closed down to just one point by rival Dušan Borković, who took race one honours yesterday but failed to finish in the reverse-grid race.

Azcona scored pole by gambling on slicks in mixed conditions in qualifying, and finished the first race in fourth position.

He told TouringCars.Net that despite getting a drive-through penalty for exceeding track limits in race two, he was still pleased as championship rivals Borković and Jean-Karl Vernay also failed to score points.

“It was a difficult race but I’m happy because at the beginning our pace was fantastic,” said Azcona. “We were the first CUPRA and we were battling with the Hyundais and Hondas so I’m happy.

“But then I had a drive through about the track limits, which was correct because all the drivers cut the chicane and I got a penalty.

“But it’s good because Borkovic and Vernay, my rivals, Vernay had another penalty and Borkovic had damage on the car so we are still leading the championship.”

Azcona admitted after qualifying that he gambled on slicks as he felt he had “nothing to lose” and he was not confident of the pace of his CUPRA at the Hungaroring.

With this in mind, he believes it is a real positive that he managed to hold on to his lead in the standings, and is now focused on consistent results for the second half of the season.

“On this meeting it was difficult for the CUPRA,” he explained. “I’m very happy because we are leading the championship and the next meetings in Assen and Monza and Spain we should be going well with the CUPRA.

“We’re now in the middle of the championship and I think now in the next meetings the most important thing is to continue the form, not to make any mistakes.

“Here in Hungary we made some mistakes but we’ll learn from that. So the next meeting we want to be fast and take points – that’s the most important thing, to not have any zero scores.”