Nicky Catsburg capped off a brilliant month of racing with his first World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) race victory – and his third in World Touring Cars, taking the chequered flag in the final race of the weekend.
The Dutchman arrived at the event off the back of a pair of high profile victories as a factory GT3 driver for BMW, taking the top honours at both the Nürburgring 24 Hours and Indianapolis 8 Hours in a matter of weeks.
Despite his lengthy CV as a racing driver, an outright victory in the WTCR had eluded him until race three at the Slovakiaring on Sunday, when he took the chequered flag for Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team.
After a tricky start to the 2020 campaign for the whole of the Hyundai contingent, Catsburg’s breakthrough result catapults him up into tenth place in the drivers’ championship standings.
“Race three for me was very nice,” Catsburg reflected. “My first victory in WTCR and third victory in two weeks after the Nürburgring 24 and the Indy 8, and now this race, so I’m very very happy for myself and for the team.
“[The] start was great, we went from P3 to P1, got a little lucky in turn two when unfortunately Norbi [Michelisz] got spun around, so then we had a little gap between me and the car running in P2 Jean-Karl Vernay.
“We managed to maintain the gap and win the race so it’s a great feeling. We also had the fastest lap of the weekend so I got a nice watch which is nice! So yeah, a good weekend overall.”
After a topsy-turvy weekend in the grand scheme of the drivers’ championship, Catsburg will be looking to use this result as a launchpad to stake his claim as Hyundai’s key challenger.
The WTCR will be back in action again next weekend, as the teams cross the Slovakian border to reach the Hungaroring circuit near Budapest.