Mikel Azcona: ‘If we don’t win the title today, we have to stay’

Mikel Azcona has revealed that if he is unable to secure the TCR Europe drivers’ title at Barcelona on Saturday then he will have to stay and miss the FIA World Touring Car Cup races.

The scenario seems increasingly unlikely, however, as the Volcano Motorsport driver secured pole position for race one on Saturday after dominating qualifying.

Azcona topped both Q1 and Q2 despite not taking part in practice, giving him a further ten points in his championship charge.

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With chief rival Franco Girolami failing to post a lap time after his only lap was disallowed for track limits, Azcona now has a 63-point advantage (effectively 70 with drop scores) and there are only 80 points remaining up for grabs.

“It was a perfect session” said Azcona to TouringCars.Net. “I am sorry for Franco because I always want to battle for the title on the track not with an issue. But this is motorsport and anything can happen, so you need to think about everything.

“I’m really happy to get the fastest lap in qualifying with no free practice. The car was amazing – since the first corner of the first lap the car felt really, really good because it allows me to go really fast into the curves, into the crests and into the corners with a good feeling.

“I’m really confident for the race and the championship looks very easy at the moment. My goal is to take the championship and to not take risks myself.”

Having missed out on Friday’s running, Azcona’s first task on Saturday morning was to sit down with his team and team-mates to understand the strengths and weaknesses of his car on the Barcelona circuit.

“Before qualifying we sat together and analysed the data and the video, and I asked my team-mates for some things which I had doubts about. It helped me a lot.

“Thanks to my team-mates for the videos they did yesterday, because we took a lot of information and so I went into qualifying with a much better feeling and more confidence.”

Azcona says that he faces the prospect of two races later, as he must leave the circuit promptly after the race finishes at around 16:15 in order to get to the airport for an 18:15 flight to Prague – providing he has secured the title, as if not he must remain at the circuit for race two on Sunday.

“It’s going to be tough – I have one race and then the second race will be going to the airport! We don’t have too much time – we finish the race at 16:15 and then I have to be on the plane at 18:15.

“We need to cross the whole city and I hope we don’t have traffic.

“But if we don’t win the title today, we have to stay here…”

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