Josh Files was pleased to qualify in fourth for the opening TCR Europe race at the Hungaroring, saying that it gives him a strong starting position not only for the first race but also for the reverse-grid contest.
Although Files qualified in fourth, he was just 0.151 seconds slower than pole-sitter Mat’o Homola, leaving him happy with his result.
That will also give the Target Competition driver seventh on the grid for the second race of the weekend, and Files believes that on balance his qualifying result will give him a strong chance to challenge at the front in both races.
“I’ve always said if you’re third or fourth you can have two good races from there,” said Files to TouringCars.Net. “From the front two rows you can always fight for a victory and in the reverse grid [race] you can always fight for a podium, so I think I’m in a good place in that sense.
“It’s a long year and the points now go to fifteenth. It’s more important this year to always finish in the points as opposed to last year, when there was a big delta for winning.
“I’m happy enough. To be so close to pole and be fourth is not a bad place to be. I think I’ve got two pretty good starting places. I’m happy about that, although obviously I always want to be on pole like everybody. It’s two good starting places.
“This year points count and for that reason I’m happy. And it’s a great team result – our five cars are in the top nine.
“It’s a cracking start for me, a cracking start for the team and I’m a racer so look out tomorrow!”
Files also praised the performances of his team-mates at Target, in particular Andreas Bäckman for qualifying in second after the Swede had an accident which brought out the red flags in second practice.
“I’ve been coaching Jessica and Andreas through testing, so we’ve had a really good working relationship and that’s continued this weekend, and I’m really proud of their results as well.
“Especially Andreas after his mis-hap in free practice two; to negate that from his memory and pull out that performance I think is brilliant.
“Dušan [Borković] and Mat’o are good friends from the past as well, so I think overall it’s a punchy team and everyone’s got a different style.
“I think we’re a force to be reckoned with throughout the year.”