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Benjamin Leuchter ‘now in the game’ after maiden podium

Benjamin Leuchter has high confidence after scoring his first podium in the FIA World Touring Car Cup at Zandvoort, with the Volkswagen driver predicting his season to pick up from now on.

Leuchter finished second behind Honda’s Esteban Guerrieri in the second race in The Netherlands, having started the race from the front row of the grid.

The German followed the leading Argentine for the entire race but was unable to find a way into the lead.

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Leuchter had earlier scored his first top ten in the series in Saturday’s first race, although his weekend ended with a retirement in race three due to a technical issue whilst he was running in 12th.

Nevertheless, the 31-year-old says that the results have boosted his confidence as he looks forward to heading to circuits which should suit him and the car.

“The team did a fantastic job,” said Leuchter to TouringCars.Net. “The guys were working day and night, and that’s why I’m really happy for them as well. Not only on the ECU but also analysing tyres, suspension, everything.

“We had a big question mark after Marrakech on everything, but now we are working in the right direction – this is very good.

“The team is rally professional. I’m really happy to be in that team and it’s nice to be back hunting for podiums now.”

Leuchter is predicting to go well on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in one months’ time, a circuit at which he perhaps has more experience than any other driver on the grid due to his racing commitments in the VLN.

“I think the Nordschleife should suit me especially. You need straight-line speed there as well and I will struggle a bit there with the Golf, so let’s see what we can do there.

“I’m hoping a bit on the weather – if it’s rainy there then I should have more experience than the other guys because I do a lot of racing there in 24 Hour and endurance races, stuff like that.

“Vila Real should suit us as well because last year [the team] had a double pole there. I’m really looking forward now and to keep on working and take the positives out of this weekend.

“It’s my first season at an international level and I feel quite confident now, with the team, car, my engineer and everything.

“I’ve made good progress since Slovakia. We underlined it here now, so I’m really looking forward and I feel really confident. We are now in the game.”

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