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Attila Tassi had foot ‘flat to the floor’ to try and prevent qualifying crash

Attila Tassi’s start to the 2020 World Touring Car Cup season has been an impressive one, but a crash in qualifying has given him plenty of work to do in the three Slovakiaring races scheduled to go ahead tomorrow.

Two podium finishes from the previous two events sees the 21-year-old sitting in eighth place in the overall drivers’ standings, but Tassi will have to pull off a charge through the midfield on Sunday if he is to achieve a similar set of results.

Tassi was in the mix to improve his grid position for the second and third races until he came unstuck during the second phase of qualifying.

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Throughout the weekend, turn two has caused drivers plenty of problems. Gabriele Tarquini was the corner’s first victim after his wild ride through the gravel trap in free practice one left his Hyundai with internal damage. Shortly after, Gabor Kismarty-Lechner also went off at the same bend, albeit with a very different outcome.

Instead of keeping the car straight and relatively steady, Kismarty-Lechner lost the rear of his CUPRA on entry to the turn, and consequently spun back into the barriers on the inside line.

Tassi’s accident was largely a replica of his fellow Hungarian’s, with both drivers getting away with only minor frontal damage to their respective cars.

Of course, it was a disappointing conclusion to qualifying for the youngster, who had been hoping for a better result in order to combat his car’s shortcomings this weekend.

As a result of causing a red flag for his crash, Tassi lost his best time until that point in qualifying, dropping him to 16th in the Q1 classification and putting him on the eighth row of the grid for race one on Sunday.

“After compensation weight we knew we needed a very strong weekend here, and that it would be very hard to finish in the good points,” said Tassi.

“In Q2 we ran according to championship standings, so as Esteban is two points in front of me I was the one who had to pull [him along for a tow].

“Out of turn one I was going one tenth faster already according to my dash, but I don’t know how much we can rely on that. I was trying to take turn two flat but I made a small mistake; I touched the grass on the inside just a little bit and it was enough to start oversteer.

“I was going flat [on the accelerator] until the end so I was not lifting, because otherwise if I lift I get 90 degree oversteer earlier and I go into the gravel, but I held the car so I was saving what I could. Until I thought it was impossible to bring back, I had my foot flat [to the floor] still.

“It was a long ten seconds but when I knew it was over I went on full brakes to lock the wheels just to slide. I touched the wall a little bit and spun a few times but we’ve checked the car and the chassis seems ok, there’s no big damage.

“Maybe it looked spectacular but I’m OK. This stuff happens in motorsport and it is unfortunate that it happened to me now, but I was trying to put the maximum on the table.

“That turned out to be a little mistake which has cost me now, but these things happen.”

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