Gilles Magnus says maiden WTCR win is a ‘big relief’

Gilles Magnus was relieved to claim his first victory in the FIA World Touring Car Cup at the Hungaroring, with the Belgian Audi independent victorious in the reversed-grid opening encounter.

Magnus posted the tenth fastest time in Q2 of Saturday’s qualifying session, giving him pole position for the opening race on Sunday.

The Comtoyou Racing driver duly led from lights-to-flag, with team-mate Frédéric Vervisch acting as his rear guard for all bar one lap of the race.

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The 22-year-old picked up just his second win in touring car racing, with his first having come in the TCR Europe series in June 2019. As such, he was relieved to finally return to the top step of the podium.

“A big relief, I have to say,” said Magnus after his memorable win. “When I knew I was starting on pole I had a good feeling because this is a track where you need downforce and starting in front is a big advantage for sure.

“But you have still got to nail the start because it’s a long way to the first corner, so for me that was the crucial moment. We did that very well and afterwards it was just managing.

“I was lucky to have Fréd just behind me; he defended for me very well so I have to thank him for that, good team work.

“I’m really so happy because finally, we deserved this for a long time. I’ve been second a few times, so I’m really happy with this win.”

After finishing ninth in race two, Magnus has hauled himself up to fourth overall in the drivers’ standings, 19 points away from the top of the table.

“We have had a difficult start to the season, so to be fourth in the championship is super.”

Magnus added that it would have been nicer to have Vervisch finish second, with his Belgian team-mate losing two places on the final lap to end the race in fourth just off the podium.

“I don’t know what happened in the end, but it’s a shame for him. It would have been nice to be 1-2, it would have been amazing. Same colours as well.

“That’s how it is but I really have to thank him. He made my race and made me win today, so thanks to him and thanks to the team.”

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