Yann Ehrlacher and Cyan Racing pay the price for playing it safe

Yann Ehrlacher had been on course for his first pole position of the 2020 World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) season, but the decision not to go out for one final lap would eventually cost him the top spot.

Throughout the majority of qualifying, the young Frenchman’s lap time of 8 minutes 52.965 seconds stood as the time to beat. However, when it was eventually bettered by Münnich Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami, Ehrlacher could do nothing but sit and watch in the pit-lane.

Initially, it had appeared as though Ehrlacher simply hadn’t circulated fast enough on his out lap in order to begin a flying lap before the session had ended. But, according to the 24 year-old, there was no miscalculation to speak of.

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“I’m really happy with the result,” he explained. “The team picture is a little bit difficult because there is a car out of the top 10 and that is not what we wanted. Of course, I am chasing this pole now, twice [we have finished] P2 [in qualifying].

“I would say I was missing a tow, [so therefore] going one and half seconds quicker than I did was really risky and if you cause a red or yellow flag you lose a lap, so we went for the safe choice.

“It was not a mistake from my side or the team’s side. It was deliberate. We are happy with the result and looking forward to the races.”

Despite losing out on pole position, Cyan Racing still have plenty to play for. Throughout the weekend, Ehrlacher has shown that he can match the pace of pole-sitter Girolami, and as a result will surely still fancy his chances of victory in race two on Saturday.

In race one meanwhile, Yvan Muller will be starting from pole position thanks to the reversed-grid format, while Thed Björk won’t be too far behind at the start either from fourth position on row two.

Clearly then, despite their conservative approach to qualifying, Cyan Racing still have plenty of opportunity to walk away from the Nürburgring with a sizeable tally of championship points.

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