After elevating himself back into serious title contention at the Hungaroring last time out, Esteban Guerrieri’s rise up the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) leaderboard appears to have stalled this weekend.
With two wins to his name in Hungary, Guerrieri had managed to close the gap to series leader Yann Ehrlacher to just 22 points. However, with that success came a hefty dose of compensation weight for this round at Motorland Aragón, and it appears to be hurting.
After an underwhelming performance in practice, the Argentinean driver will line up from nineteenth position in each of Sunday’s races, one position worse off than Ehrlacher who finds himself in eighteenth.
With the curtain beginning to fall on the 2020 WTCR campaign, Guerrieri is running out of time to overhaul Ehrlacher at the top, and following the Frenchman’s own poor qualifying form this afternoon, Guerrieri will be left ruing the fact that he couldn’t capitalise on his rival’s misfortune.
Now, Guerrieri has a mountain to climb to make his way through the pack with 60kg of success ballast onboard. Barring a miraculous turnaround in fortunes, tomorrow looks set to be a day of damage limitation rather than attack, with the likes of Yvan Muller and Jean-Karl Vernay both in positions to threaten his second place overall.
Guerrieri was understandably downbeat about how the afternoon panned out, pinning much of the blame on his own display:
“Not my best performance in qualifying, even though our potential this weekend is not great due to the compensation weight,” he said.
“But yeah, personally I kind of didn’t put it together. On my first run I didn’t put it together, then for the second run we changed some tyre pressures but it didn’t work and I couldn’t open the second attempt properly in turn one because I got big oversteer due to the changes that we did.
“So it was not a good reading of the qualifying I would say, which as I say unfortunately compromised the first run with a bit of a mistake at turn twelve.
“It was a sequence of things during qualifying that didn’t work out. I don’t feel very happy with my performance, actually I feel quite disappointed with my performance in qualifying. But still, tomorrow is another day, so let’s wake up and fight again.”