Dániel Nagy has praised Jean-Karl Vernay for his ‘hard but fair’ racing as the duo battled for victory in the opening TCR Europe race at Assen, with the M1RA driver ultimately going on to notch up his first win of the season.
Nagy passed Vernay’s Audi for the win on the fifth lap of the race, with the Hyundai driver going side-by-side with his rival from Turn 5 through to Turn 8 to complete the pass.
He praised Vernay’s driving in the battle, with the two not making contact as they diced for the top honours.
“The pass happened at Turn 4, which is a tight left-hander, and he missed the braking point a little bit, which cost him a very bad exit of the corner,” explained Nagy to TouringCars.Net. “On the upcoming straight he started slower than me, so I could pass him easily because I had the grip inside, but then because the Audi has the best top speed, he was able to come back on the left side of me.
“Then there was a right and then a left, so the only goal was to defend the right and then try to brake as late as I could to avoid him and stay on the inside for Turn 7.
“I was able to make it; I touched the tyre stack because I had no space to go because Vernay was very hard with me, but it was fair – it’s touring car racing.
“After that I was able to keep my position, although I was worried about whether the damage was big or not, but fortunately Hyundai made a very strong car.”
Nagy added that he was enjoying the increasing pressure coming with being involved in the overall drivers’ championship battle, as he moved to within five points of the series lead and tied in second with Mikel Azcona.
“I have learned step-by-step, and also coming with bigger pressure as we are coming to the end of the championship.
“This motivates me very, very much, and I like it when there is pressure on my shoulders. It’s a great thing.
“We are closing up. It means everybody feels more pressure, which I like, and of course it’s time to think about the championship.
“But I still keep that in my mind I would like to be the fastest Hyundai in every qualifying and in as many sessions as I can.
“Of course, I will not take huge risks in every race, but I will push as hard as I have in the past.”