Yann Ehrlacher leaves Zolder feeling ‘accomplished’ after the Cyan Racing driver claimed victory in the second FIA World Touring Car Cup race in Belgium, beating his Uncle Yvan Muller in the process.
Ehrlacher started the race from second on the grid and followed pole-sitter Nathanaël Berthon for the first few laps, unable to match the pace of the Audi driver during the opening lap.
But Ehrlacher also saw that Berthon had jumped the start, and thus saw no need to drive too hard to take the lead, knowing that his fellow Frenchman ahead would have to serve a drive-through penalty.
When racing resumed on lap four following a brief safety car intervention, Ehrlacher had the support of Cyan Racing team-mates Muller and Santiago Urrutia behind to ease to a first win of the season.
The result was made even sweeter for the 24-year-old as he finished with his uncle just behind and Santiago Urrutia completing the Lynk & Co clean sweep of the podium.
“Everything happened at the start,” explained Ehrlacher. “I saw that he [Berthon] jumped the start straight away. He still did two or three laps and he had a really good pace.
“It would have been really difficult for me I think to follow that pace. Then he went to the box and I had a free way to work on my pace, saving my tyres until the end, because it’s quite a long race.
“Then I started to build a gap with the guys behind me and all the race went well.
“I was really pleased with the fact that all three of us are on the podium and again it’s a family podium with Yvan, so my weekend is well accomplished.”
Victroy for Ehrlacher, combined with points for qualifying and seventh in race one on Saturday, means he leaves Belgium as the leader of the drivers’ championship standings, with 43 points to his name, seven ahead of Néstor Girolami.
“I’m just so happy to claim my first victory for the team and to lead the championship. We just did a better job than the others this weekend.
“It’s fantastic to give the team this result after all of their hard work ahead of the season.”