Yann Ehrlacher experiences a mixed weekend in Pau

Reigning FIA World Touring Car Cup champion Yann Ehrlacher endured a mixed weekend in the Pau season opener, as the Cyan Racing driver scored fourth in race one before a puncture in race two dropped him out of contention.

For Ehrlacher, the weekend was far from plain sailing. The Frenchman had been second fastest in Saturday’s first practice session, and was actually fourth fastest in second practice, but a driveshaft issue reduced his running in the later session.

Come qualifying, Ehrlacher missed out on progressing beyond Q2 and recorded the sixth best time, after a late improvement from Nathanaël Berthon dumped him out of the Q3 positions.

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Making up one place on the opening lap after a poor start from team-mate Ma Qing Hua, Ehrlacher followed Berthon for much of the race until the Audi driver’s tyres faded rapidly, giving Ehrlacher fourth, just behind his uncle Yvan Muller in third.

From fifth on the grid for the partially reversed-grid second race, Ehrlacher was running in third until halfway through the race when he picked up a puncture and had to pit for replacement rubber, leaving him to finish down in 15th.

“[Race one] was actually quite a cool race – I did a really good start, and we knew it would be the key point, so we jumped one place there,” said Ehrlacher.

“Then I had a great overtake and a moment as well – we almost crashed with Berthon but then he destroyed the tyre a bit earlier than me and then we went for the move.

“I’m really happy with this P4 and P3 for Yvan. It’s a really good start for the championship.

“The second race was one to forget with the puncture while being in a podium position. We are going to be back, that’s for sure.”

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