Mikel Azcona: ‘Amazing’ to win on début with Hyundai Motorsport

Mikel Azcona says it is an ‘amazing’ feeling to win on his début weekend with Hyundai Motorsport in the FIA World Touring Car Cup, after the Spaniard joined the team at the start of 2022.

Azcona has raced in WTCR since 2019, but sensationally switched to Hyundai for this year’s campaign.

On the streets of Pau, the 25-year-old qualified his Hyundai Elantra N in eighth on Saturday, out-performing team-mate Norbert Michelisz, who has more experience of the car.

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After bringing his car home in sixth in race one, Azcona suddenly found himself in the pound seat in race two when Michelisz crashed into fellow front-row starter Attila Tassi off the line, giving Azcona the lead.

Thereafter Azcona came under little pressure for the win, as he took the chequered flag with a margin of almost four seconds to record his fourth victory in the series.

“I’m really happy, amazing race,” said Azcona after race two. “First of all, I’m very sorry for my team-mate Norbi, I hope he’s well.

“To start my first weekend with Hyundai Motorsport and BRC with a win on the streets of Pau, my first time here, is amazing. I have to say the track is awesome.

“The car felt amazing through the whole race, especially at the beginning. I was able to make a good distance from Urrutia from the middle of the race until the end.

“Degradation on the front tyres was very good, so I was able to keep the car in one piece until the chequered flag.”

Azcona admitted that at first he hadn’t been concentrating ahead of him when the lights went out at the start of race two.

“Honestly, I was checking the mirrors because [Santiago] Urrutia did a better launch than me, so I was checking him just to defend myself.

“Suddenly I looked to the front and saw all the cars in front of me and I needed to avoid it in a very short time.

“I’m sorry for Norbi, I need to see the video.”

Azcona leaves the French opening round third overall in the drivers’ standings, eight points away from series leader Néstor Girolami.

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