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Josh Files says breaking tow could be crucial to winning Hockenheim opener

Josh Files says breaking the tow to Gilles Magnus’ Audi behind could be crucial if he is to win the opening TCR Europe race at Hockenheim this afternoon.

Files will start the first contest around the 2.8-mile German venue from pole position after edging out joint points leader Magnus by 0.010s in qualifying, the latter ending the session in the gravel at Turn 13.

Despite having the advantage at the start of race one, Files admitted his Target Competition-run Hyundai i30 N TCR had to operate at its performance limit to beat the Audi, and says breaking the tow in the early stages could be the deciding factor in his chances of victory this afternoon.

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“I said to the guys yesterday that it will probably be the pressure of qualifying that could maybe get us a good position as opposed to sheer speed, because we don’t have it,” said Files to

“We had an excellent debrief, a really good setup and the guys have done a great job, I put everything on the line and we can’t go faster, the car and us as a team are on the limit of everything.

“So it will be interesting to see in the race. I think the problem is they [Audi] will have the advantage in the overtaking spots with their top speed, so we’ll see.

“If we can make a good couple of laps in the opening stages and break the tow immediately it could become easier, but I doubt at this level that’s ever going to happen. We’re definitely going to be pushing for it.”

Tyre degradation has been one of the talking points in the paddock so far this weekend, with hot temperatures adding another factor into the mix.

That could prove a heightened problem for some, with Files among several drivers to take two sets of tyres in the final part of qualifying, whilst others opted to only make one timed run.

Files says his Hyundai should manage the wear effectively, but believes their increase in compensation weight for this weekend could prove a handful on break wear over the race distance.

“The Hyundai wears its tyres well, generally, so I think it’ll be okay on that front, and two of the tyres only have half a lap on them,” explained Files.

“It’s hard to tell, really. As I say, I’ll be pushing from the off, we know we’ve got good long run pace, we just don’t have the best top speed and we’re struggling a little bit now on the brakes because of the weight that we’ve got.”

The opening race of the weekend is scheduled to get underway at 13:40 BST.

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