The opening round of the 2010 FIA European Touring Car Cup took place this weekend at the Braga facility in Portugal. The ETCC was a single, one off event which happened in October of every year, before this year which sees it become a 3 race weekend mini series.
What did the drivers have to say after the opening races?
2009 Champion and current Championship leader James Thompson: “I'm very pleased with this win that came mainly from yesterday's pole position. Our car is 30 kilos heavier than the BMWs and this is a big gap. I believe the second race showed what the real positions at the moment are. This was a perfect weekend for us and we have done everything right to take the most out of it using the package that we have. The first race was especially difficult, because from the start I had to defend my position and as the race progressed the BMWs were closer and closer while my car was having more and more problems with the front tyres.”
Race 2 winner, the local hero at Braga Cesar Campanico: “We have achieved a very good result today in front of our home crowd. And honestly it could have even been a better one, should I have not made a mistake in the first race that cost me the second position. But in the end, finishing second in the event only one point behind Thompson is a big boost for us for the next races!”
FIA World Touring Car Championship Independent Kristian Poulsen said about his weekend: “We had a lot of fun today with a number of close fights between James, CÃ©sar,Tomas EngstrÃ¶m and me. I also have to blame myself for a mistake that enabled CampaniÃ§o to come through. But all in all I'm quite happy with this third place in the first time Iwas back racing with my own team. I have a 2-point gap from the lead and I'mconfident in looking forward to the rest of the season.”
The current leader of the S1600 category is ATM Racing's Jens Lohnig: “There are racing weekends when everything comes together and this was one of those for me. My car was definitely the best today, fast and consistent, so it was not too difficult to win both races. I only had to regain the lead after I had slept a bit at the start in both racesâ€¦”