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After-effects of qualifying hit caused issues for Magnus in opening race

Gilles Magnus explained that the after-effects from his brush with the wall in qualifying affected his Audi RS 3 LMS’ performance in the opening TCR Europe race at Hockenheim.

The opening exchanges proved tough for RACB National Team racer Magnus, slipping back from a front-row start in second to sixth in the first few laps.

He soon lost touch with the four-car battle for second position ahead – unusual given a lot of the pre-race discussion centred on whether anybody would be able to hold off the Audi in race trim.

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Speaking to after the race, Magnus revealed a brake problem hampered his progress, with the Belgian eventually taking the chequered flag in eighth.

“The pace was good in qualifying, only ten thousandths off the pole so the pace was really there to be in front and maybe win the race,” said Magnus.

“We had a little crash in Q2, we touched the wall slightly, the guys worked really hard to repair the car on time and it worked. I felt from the beginning that there was something not right, because I missed my braking every single time and I pushed further and further through the brakes.

“It became worse and worse. Now [the team] are searching for the issue and, for sure, they will find it, and tomorrow we will be there again. We minimalized the damage, let’s say, P8 is still some points for the championship.

“At least we finished the race, because at a certain point I thought I had to come in because it was really getting dangerous. Unlucky, but I think with the situation we should still be quite happy.”

Despite the setback, the erstwhile points leader still believes the pace is there to fight through the field from ninth on the grid in tomorrow’s reverse-grid contest.

“We showed in qualifying we are quick and we can fight with the guys, we are as quick as everyone,” commented Magnus.

“If the problem is solved, which it will be, we should be able to fight and come back through the field. We feel confident.”

The final race of the weekend in Germany gets underway at 10:35 BST.

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