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Season 26 WTCR Round 2 Oschersleben Driver Interviews

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Daniel Badcock

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#1
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Round 2 was extremely close and after the race I had chance to catch up with the drivers who finished on the podium.

Starting with 3 time winner this season and championship leader, Janko Glavac:


DB - Congratulations Janko, round 2 has seen you score your 2nd and 3rd wins at RRLeagues in only your 3rd and 4th races! You have also taken the championship lead and have a 83 point lead over Radek in 2nd place. Did you expect to lead the championship at this stage?
JG - Thank you! The first 2 weekends indeed seemed to be perfect for me. I did not expect such a great results, specially in Oschers, but i guess luck was on my side till now and i enjoyed both weekends a lot.

DB - You are also the first driver to win 2 races and are also the first driver to win both races in a meeting this season, an impressive feat given that race 2 features a top-10 reverse grid. I know that Robert Horvath pushed you hard, did you enjoy the battle?
JG - Race 2 was one of my best races and i enjoyed it a lot. I knew me and Robert were faster then the rest of the field, so my aim was just follow Robert as we head through the field. I did not try to attack him till i knew we were in podium places. But suddenly opportunity came up, while Robert was held up a bit by Lukas out of last turn and i had to take that chance. After that Robert was a bit faster then me in some places, but i just managed to held him back. I enjoyed every minute of our fight, no matter if i was the attacker or defender. This is the kind of race we all wish to have most of the time.

DB - With Elmar Kurbinov expected to return at Mid-Ohio, do you expect your current form to continue?
JK - Elmar will probably show his strength in Mid Ohio and i dont see myself anywhere near the result of Oschers. Track layout feels quite bad to me and i ll have to do my best to get half the result i had in first 2 weekends.

Next, I had the chance to catch up with Robert Horvath, 2nd place in both races:

DB - Congratulations on the double podium Robert, you had obvious pace at Suzuka but qualifying meant you had two tricky races - did you go to Oschersleben expecting to be on the pace again?

RH - Thank you! Oschersleben is a tricky track, but I like it generally. I know that with superpole session a lot is depending on your qualy. That's what I messed up at Suzuka, but I know if i manage to do a clear lap I should be in top 5. Also I was trusting in my race pace and tyre management which is important in the longer run.

DB - It is fair to say that you have been reasonably successful during your RRLeagues career, I mean the numbers speak for themselves : 88 races, 27 wins, 15 2nd place finishes, 6 3rd place finishes and in addition to these incredible numbers, you have also secured 2 Driver's Championships and been runner-up 3 times. What keeps you motivated to push yourself even further?

RH - Well, I just love racing, it's a part of my life in work too. I like the strong and clean competition here and the good organised championships as well. And there is always a bigger fish... I try to measure myself against the faster guys, when I manage to beat them it's always a satisfaction!

DB - Mid Ohio Short is up next, what are your thoughts on the track, are you hopeful of repeating your success from the previous round?

RH - I like the track, so I hope I can fight for podium spots in both races - this will be my goal!
I wish to everyone a good and clean event on Wednesday :)

David Dhoore, 3rd place an in race 1, was next to speak with me:

DB - First of all, congratulations on your 3rd place finish in race 1 at Oschersleben! Your podium last time out was your first in the WTCR class. As the reigning (double) WTCC champion, did you feel any extra pressure coming into this championship?
DD - Thanks , no extra pressure Daniel of course if you have 2 champs in WTCC people expect that you will also do good in the WTCR class but I am not the driver to beat this season as there are so much fast drivers in this series who are quicker than me ,so I will take what I can get and see were it brings me after 8 events. I also hope for some more luck in the races and no more tech issues from my side

DB - It has only taken 2 races (Suzuka) for you to get to grips with the new class, which class do you prefer? How do the required driving styles differ between classes?
DD - I think that was something I misjudged before the season started , I was driving the WTCR cars the same as the WTCC class and that is not how you can be fast with these cars .They simply have less power so you need to be more precise and gentle with them on corners. Also for setups WTCR cars are quite different, on WTCC I drove always with very low wing , if you do that on the WTCR class the car is too unstable for me . It can probably work with low wing but the way to do it with setups is something I didn't have discovered yet :) but to answer your question I definitely prefer the WTCC cars, more power ;)

DB - How do you rate your chances of visiting the podium again when the grid hits Mid-Ohio on Wednesday?
DD - Well i think I have a chance to have a podium, on Oscherleben I felt pretty quick and after a practice session on Mid Ohio I had a good feeling in the car and had decent speed so who knows :)

Finally, I had chance to speak with 3rd place man in race 2, Vlastimil Lukas:

DB - Congratulations Vlastimil! The end of race 2 was tense with a tough fight between yourself, Radek and myself. Did you think you would be able to hold on for the last step on the podium?
VL - Thank you very much. It was a very difficult race. Start was good, but I was waiting for the others to catch me. It took quite a while and I did not expect it. I knew I was not faster than other drivers. My only chance was to keep the racing line and defend my position. This track was very difficult to overtake and this was only my advantage. It will be very difficult, but I will try not to do shame and especially have a lot of fun. This is the most important thing. I do not care if I'm first or last. For me it is important that we all enjoy it together.

DB - Looking at the stats, you have (at time of interview) competed in 123 races at RRLeagues, How do you think you have progressed as a driver since racing with RRLeagues?
VL - 123 races is a nice serving. I have been here for a year and a month and I enjoy it a lot. I try to take part in as many races as possible, but it will be complicated. In summer, we are waiting child. My main progress was to break away from the bottom. I like the fact that I am not always in the top positions, but not the last ones. I can improve myself, but over time I find that there are more aliens than humans. The pace is fast. I do not ride just one series, but I ride everything, so I can not focus only on one type of races, I want to be as universal. And I see the greatest progress in stopping making stupid mistakes. I replaced it with other mistakes.

DB - What has been your favourite championship at RRLeagues? What content would you like to see raced at RRLeagues in the future?
VL - Of course I like GT3. I understand they can not ride all the time. But I'd like to see them back, and I'd like to see the championship on classical tracks as they go into reality. Spa, Monza, Imola, Most and more. I liked the selection of all cars last year. It was very interesting. And I like endurance races.

As always, many thanks to all drivers who took the time to speak with me and good luck to all for the next round!!

Daniel Badcock
 

Simon Fillingham

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#2
Good read! Thanks, Dan & drivers for giving the time to provide this insight.

Like David, these cars require a different approach than the WTCC class to be quick. Having everything set correctly at corner entry is must otherwise the car just scrubs off too much speed as it lurches around the corner.
 

suspectmonkey

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#3
Thanks Daniel and everyone who took part! I really enjoy reading these, especially for series I'm not competing in as it's great to find out what happened during the race (and what I missed out on!).
 
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