FIAWTCR – Zandwoort – 17/19 May 2019 - At Zandvoort, in the FIA WTCR, the Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport lived a very frustrating weekend, as under the current regulatory conditions, the Audi RS 3 LMS had no pace at all. Only Jean-Karl Vernay could salvage only one small point.
There were a lot of hopes as the team arrived to the neighbouring country for the Zandvoort round, almost a ‘home race’ and one that yielded great satisfaction last year. It was just the opposite this time, as the regulation gave no chance to the Audi RS 3 LMS to match the pace of competitors. Jean-Karl Vernay and Gordon Shedden struggled during the entire weekend!
A P9 in the qualifying for Race 1 for Vernay was the best result of the weekend, but yielded only a P22 in the race, following a penalty resulting from a race incident. A single point came for the Frenchman in Race 2, with his Race 3 ruined by a bent steering on the last lap. Gordon Shedden shared similar misery, although finishing all three races.
Vincent Vosse (Team Principal): “Seeing what happened at Zandvoort, but not only there, it is clear that something is not working in the series. We strongly believe in the TCR concept, but the situation needs to be addressed constructively by all parties involved.”
Jean-Karl Vernay: “It was a terrible weekend, we are very disappointed. Qualifying 1 was still good, it was very tight, but in the race I got a penalty I do not agree with. On Sunday, we could not do more despite a perfect work from all…”
Race 1 Result
1. Thed Björk (Lynk&Co 03) 12 laps
2. Yvan Muller (Lynk&Co 03) + 0s704
3. Mikel Azcona (Cupra) +1s270
4. Johan Kristoffersson (VW Golf GTi) + 3s062
5. Andy Priaulx (Lynk&Co 03) + 3s631
22. Jean-Karl Vernay (Audi RS 3 LMS) + 21s525
Race 2 Result
1. Esteban Guerrieri (Honda Civic) 14 laps
2. Benjamin Leuchter (Volkswagen Golf GTi)+ 0s263
3. Johan Kristoffersson (VW Golf GTi) + 0s711
4. Nicky Catsburg (Hyundai i30N) + 1s669
5. Mikel Azcona (Cupra) + 2s035
15. Jean-Karl Vernay (Audi RS 3 LMS) +117s118
Race 3 Result
1.Thed Björk (Lynk&Co 03) 15 laps
2. Yann Ehrlacher (Lynk&Co 03) +0s830
3. Norbert Michelisz (Hyundai i30N) +2s377
4. Augusto Farfus (Hyundai i30N) +2s995
5. Yvan Muller (Lynk&Co 03) +3s658
26. Jean-Karl Vernay (Audi RS 3 LMS) +29s621
WTCR driver’s standing:
1 – E. Guerrieri / 161 p.
2 – T. Björk / 150 p.
3 – N. Girolami / 135 p.
4 – N. Michelisz / 130 p.
5 – M. Azcona / 120 p.
9 – JK. Vernay / 86 p.