Néstor Girolami scored his third victory of the FIA World Touring Car Cup season at the Slovakiaring, with the Argentine admitting that he has had an ‘amazing start to the season’ despite only picking up points in one race at the weekend.
Girolami maintained his lead at the head of the drivers’ standings, despite only picking up points in the second race of the weekend, in which the Münnich Motorsport driver secured his third win of the season.
Race one in the morning saw Girolami retire from the race after picking up damage when he was hit from behind and knocked into the Audi of Niels Langeveld, forcing both drivers out and requiring a brief safety car period.
After his win in race two, Girolami then was on the receiving end of contact from Aurélien Panis on the opening lap of race three, dropping him to the back of the field before further issues set in in his Honda.
Despite the two non-scores, Girolami leaves the event still at the top of the standings and as a result he believes it was a good weekend for him and the team, which also secured a 1-2 in the second race when Girolami headed home team-mate Esteban Guerrieri.
“For us, it was a really good weekend, again,” said Girolami. “We knew this weekend would be complicated by the compensation weight, but we did a really good job in qualifying, which was the first good step of the weekend.
“But then you need to finish the race, and for me race one was not good. I received a hit and my front left suspension was broken, and I had to retire from the race.
“The mechanics did a fantastic job to prepare me a car for race two, so we had a really good start and we took the first place for a couple of metres.
“Rob [Huff] paid back really soon because he did a see-saw after T1. Really well done to him. And then I overtook him in T3 after a little mistake from Rob. He was little bit wide.
“After that I saw Esteban in my mirrors and the team said keep the positions and try to score as many points as we can, as this is how we work.
“It’s a pretty good result for the team and also for Honda who have done an amazing job this year. It’s been an amazing start of the season for me and for the team, so I’m really looking forward to Zandvoort.”
Girolami admits that he has become a bit of a target for his rivals as the form driver in the championship, leading to his retirement from race three.
“Now I’m leading the championship everybody wants to hit me a little bit! I received in T2 in race three a hit from behind again and I was out of the track, going into the gravel.
“I was lucky because I could go back on to the track but lost some positions.
“At the end I had some trouble with some electronical problems, so I was last again. Not so many points in race three, but overall, it’s a good result for us.”