Norbert Michelisz admits that he expected to struggle in Zandvoort’s FIA World Touring Car Cup races, with the Hyundai driver outside the top ten in Saturday’s first race before retiring due to a puncture.
The Hungarian had been running in 13th prior to picking up a puncture, forcing him to pit and dropping him out of contention for points.
But despite the non-finish, Michelisz told TouringCars.Net that he had expected to struggle for pace a bit in The Netherlands, although he had not expected to be quite so far off pole position in qualifying.
“To be honest we expected something like this,” said Michelisz. “We didn’t expect to be so far off pole position, but we expected to struggle and last year we didn’t expect to struggle as much as we did.
“When the field is so close and so competitive, its impossible to judge if the performance is enough for a top eight or top twenty only, and that makes it quite tricky.
Michelisz is hoping to be able to take advantage of the reverse grid in Sunday’s races, but acknowledges that making it into the top ten will not be easy.
“You always have possibilities to improve. The good thing is that by recovering two tenths you can be, looking at today’s qualifying times, in the top six or seven.
“But all the other drivers have the same margins, so in the end everyone has the feeling that he could have gone one tenth faster from his best time in qualifying.
“With more or less four drivers for every brand you see more or less the clear picture about where we are compared with the rest of the field.
“We will give it a big push tomorrow. The target is to be inside the top ten. With the package we have it’s not going to be easy, but we’ll try to do the perfect lap.”
Michelisz has only lost two points in the drivers’ championship battle, as neither of Münnich Motorsport’s points leaders finished in the top ten either.