Norbert Michelisz enjoyed a strong weekend in the World Touring Car Championship Race of Portugal on the streets of Porto, scoring two victories in the Yokohama Drivers' Trophy to take the standings lead.
The Zengo Dension BMW driver started from eighth in Race 1 and remained there until the finish after being unable to find a way past the Volvo of Robert Dahlgren around the tight and twisty circuit. He still came home as the leading Yokohama Trophy runner, however.
“It is difficult to overtake in Porto,” said Michelisz after the first race. “If somebody in front doesn't make a mistake then it is obviously not possible to gain a position.
“For Race 1 the main goal was to survive the first couple of corners and took as many points as possible for the Yokohama Trophy. The good thing is that I think we found something in the setup for the race and I think we made some progress with the car so I was happy with the pace.”
Michelisz started Race 2 from seventh on the grid, but made a strong start. He gained one position as Dahlgren stalled off the line, but also got past the BMW of Franz Engstler. Running in fifth place, he was promoted to fourth when Stefano D'Aste served his drive-through penalty. Finishing in fourth place gave him another Yokohama Trophy win, as well as finishing the race as the top BMW.
“Of course I'm really happy with this result, it was an amazing race,” he said. “At the moment of the start I had to choose between the left and right but I realized that on that moment I realized that there was no room left at the right hand side so I just closed my eyes and I went to the left side.
“Sometimes, for me it was amazing to watch the fight in front of me and at some points I felt like I was in a cinema but then I had to focus on my driving as I started to make mistakes but it was just amazing to watch. Now, I'm really happy because I couldn't want a better result after qualifying than P4 so I'm really happy as I could collect important points in the overall championship and as I just saw I am now at the front of the Yokohama championship so it was an almost perfect weekend for me.”
Michelisz has moved into seventh place in the overall drivers' classification with 66 points. He leads the Yokohama Drivers' Trophy with 74 points, five ahead of his nearest rival Kristian Poulsen.