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They said what? ETCC drivers on Magny-Cours qualifying



Kris Richard, Petr Fulin, Pierre-Etienne Chaumat and Tomáš Korený attended the post-Qualifying press conference for FIA ETCC Race of Magny-Cours. This is what they had to say.

Q: Kris Richard, congratulations, your first pole in the ETCC after a dramatic qualifying session. It was all looking so good but then we saw a damaged Honda in the tyre barriers. What happened?

KR: After the technical problems we had with the gearbox we think we now found the problem and we think we fixed it. I got out and do some laps and feel I could downshift to the second gear so I come in and put some new tyres on and it worked for two or three laps, I can do my fast lap. After this I want to push a little bit more but at the Nürburgring chicane I lost my back, hit sideways the tyre wall and both windows of the doors are broken and both doors are completely broken. I hope the guys can fix it and I hope they find the spare parts we need because we have not much here. On one side I am happy on another side I am not so happy but with this gearbox problem it’s going to be difficult. I hope we can do something but it’s going to be very difficult to drive a race without second gear. For my guys they now have a lot of work to do and I’m really sorry about that. But thanks to them and also my girlfriend for supporting me. I hope for a good race tomorrow and congratulations also to Petr.

Q: Thank you Kris, we’ll come back to you, but turning to Petr Fulín, a little more than a tenth of a second between you and Kris after another close and exciting qualifying. What was it like from your perspective?

PF: Firstly, I have to congratulate Kris. We had some problems with the first set of new tyres. I had completely without rear handling in the first corner and I lose a lot of time there. It was not possible to do two fast laps in my car, only one. Then we had the red flag when I was on a good lap but I knew it was not possible to finish it and I had to go to the pit lane. But I knew it was not possible with this set of tyres to do a fastest lap time.

Q: And the performance by Kris means he now has an extra point advantage over you so the gap is three points now. What about tomorrow and the championship, does this make you even more determined than ever to fight back?

PF: What can I say? I will try to do my best as usually. We will see after the race. Also second position on the start grid is not the best for the first corner and a lot of guys will try to be on my inside. But we will see tomorrow after the race.

Q: If I could invite Eric Nève from the ETCC to translate for Pierre-Etinenne Chaumat. If you could ask Pierre-Etienne to summarise his qualifying session in French after what was a very good performance on his debut in the ETCC?

 PEC: I did my fast lap on my first set of tyres. When I came in to put my second set of tyres on my second effort was interrupted by the red flags. When I resumed the tyres were already gone so I couldn’t improve.

Q: And how surprised have you been by your performance on your ETCC debut?

PEC: I am happy with my level so far but now we have to see for tomorrow’s races. But it is looking good so far.

Q: Turning to Tomáš Korený, the youngest driver in the ETCC and your first pole in ETCC Super 1600. Congratulations on that achievement but what about your performance because this morning you were having problems changing gear on your Fiesta?

TK: I am very happy about the result. I still had a few problems with the gearshift even though the guys fixed it as much as possible until the qualifying and I hope they will fix it a little bit more for the race because I still wasn’t happy with second gear as I had a big problem to get the car into gear and get going. Obviously I was lucky with the red flag because it waved out as I was coming into the pits for the new tyres for the fast lap. When I went out everything went good. I made a small mistake on my fastest lap but it was still enough to beat everyone else. It was a bit of a surprise for me because I expected second or third because of the mistake but probably the guys did their own mistakes. But I won and I am really happy about it. It’s finally the time in the season when I am getting used to the car. It’s my first season, I used to drive the open-wheelers and it’s completely different to me. I am still getting used to it but it looks like I am getting faster and I am happy about it.

Q: And for tomorrow’s two races shown live on Eurosport, how confident are you of keeping Niklas, Kevin and Andreas behind you?

TK: Obviously after the incident in Vila Real, I hope it won’t be repeated and the guys have learned their lesson. I will try my best. I feel really confident and I feel this track suits me really well. The car was set up well for practice on Friday and I’m really happy with it. I hope it will go well but we will see.

Q: Turning back to Kris Richard, we obviously mentioned before that it’s your first pole, which completes the set together your race wins and fastest laps. But how are you going to keep Petr behind tomorrow, a driver with so much experience and success?

KR: Like always I will just try my best and not make too much thoughts about it. I will do my own thing and try to keep ahead of Petr. That’s all I can say.