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Santiago Urrutia: ‘This is the race of my life’

Santiago Urrutia says his victory in the second FIA World Touring Car Cup race at the Hungaroring was ‘the race of my life’ after he had to withstand race-long pressure from Rob Huff for the win.

The Cyan Racing driver started the race from pole position thanks to the reverse-grid rules, after he posted the tenth quickest lap in Saturday’s Q2 part of qualifying.

Having made a clean start, Urrutia was never really more than half a second in front of Huff’s CUPRA, and the Brit came closer than ever on the final lap to attempting a pass.

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As such, Urrutia believes that his fourth win in WTCR was the hardest one of his career to-date.

“I hear some drivers who say when they take a pole position ‘it was the lap of my life’. This is the race of my life,” said the 25-year-old.

“I’m not sure because I don’t remember every race that I have done, but I tell you this one was really really hard.

“I could not make a mistake since lap one because I knew Rob was quick. Before the race, I saw him in race one and he was so quick on the first lap, so I knew if I don’t make a gap it’s going to be difficult.

“I did a good start but I could not manage to make a gap because he was always behind me, I could always see him close in my mirrors.

“Then came the safety car. Under the safety car I said OK, it can go either way: either I will go quicker or slower, because you don’t really know how your car will react after that.

“I had to do a good restart and I did do a really good restart and that’s what give me the win at the end.

“Congratulations to Rob who was really good and also to Néstor who had kilos in the car and were really quick.

“I’m happy for my people, Cyan Performance Lynk & Co. Another win in this track [after last year], so I feel it’s OK.”

Urrutia admitted that the intensity of the challenge, particularly in hot conditions in Budapest, meant he could not relax at all when the track was green during the safety car-interrupted race.

“I was talking to my engineer on the radio and he said it’s hard to overtake so focus on your race. And I came on and said ‘yeah, that’s because you are not in the car’ because the pressure was so big.

“But I was weaving my tyres and I thought I have to go. I made a gap and that helped me. It wasn’t enough to win the race only with that gap, I had to push. It was a very intense race, every lap.”

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