Gabriele Tarquini: ‘The key to the win was at the start’

Gabriele Tarquini explained that maintaining the lead of the race at the start was crucial in helping him to victory in the opening FIA World Touring Car Cup race in Aragón.

Hyundai’s Tarquini scored his first win in WTCR in over two years since April 2019, with the experienced Italian victorious from pole position in the reversed-grid first race in Spain.

Having had the most pressure at the start, Tarquini was able to extend an advantage thereafter and win by almost two seconds over CUPRA’s Mikel Azcona, a driver 34 years his junior.

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“The key of the win was the start,” said the 59-year-old. “I know that following another car, especially here, is quite hard.

“As soon as I reached the first corner I was alone so I could turn and push as hard as possible on the first three or four laps.

“Fortunately, I built a small gap and after that it was quite an easy race to control the gap.”

In the second race, Tarquini could only manage sixth, but from tenth on the grid he was pleased with the result, especially as it means he leaves Aragón having risen to fifth in the drivers’ championship standings.

“It was a harder race; I wanted to stay out of trouble. I overtook a guy at the start because Azcona stalled and I gained a position and then on the first lap I can have position with Yann [Ehrlacher].

“Then Tom [Coronel] made a mistake at corner five and I can have another position. So, starting tenth and finishing sixth is probably the best I can expect.”

Tarquini joked that his victory early in the day for Italy was a good omen for the rest of the day’s sporting hopes, as Matteo Berrettini took on Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon Men’s Final before Italy play England in the final of the UEFA Euro 2020 in the evening.

“It’s a good start of the Sunday. We have Wembley and Wimbledon, because an Italian is fighting with Djokovic in Wimbledon and the Italian football team I think can score the win in the European Championships. I support them.”

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