Jean-Karl Vernay is ‘glad the weekend is over’ after he lost the lead of the FIA World Touring Car Cup standings at the Hungaroring, with the Hyundai driver blaming a poor qualifying session for his woes.
Vernay had gone into the weekend leading the drivers’ standings, and heading into the event had stressed the importance of a strong qualifying result.
The weekend did not start with strong pace though, with Vernay just 13th and 16th in the opening two practice sessions.
Then, in Saturday afternoon’s all-important qualifying, the Frenchman could only manage the 16th fastest time, almost a second off the pace, leaving him to start both races from the eighth row of the grid.
In race one, Vernay battled his way to 14th, although he was behind all three of his fellow Hyundai-backed team-mates.
Race two went little better, as Vernay took the chequered flag in 13th, having been involved in some opening-lap scuffles in his Hyundai Elantra N.
“You deserve what you get, so when you do a bad qualifying you start at the back,” said a downbeat Vernay. “I got hit a few times and that completely messed up the front.
“Wer also had some engine issues, so I just tried to survive. At least I had some fun overtaking on the grass! That’s all.
“I am happy this weekend is over. “At least we are only a few points behind the new leader in the drivers’ championship, but there aren’t any other positives from this weekend.”
Vernay has slipped to third in the drivers’ standings, 16 points behind Cyan Racing’s Yann Ehrlacher.