Honda Racing team Sweden claim first WTCC points

May 21, 2015

Rickard Rydell 1Honda Racing team Sweden claim first WTCC points

Honda Racing team Sweden got the 2015 FIA World Touring Car Championship campaign off to a promising start in Argentina this weekend, as Rickard Rydell steered his Honda Civic TC1 into the points in both of Sunday’s season-opening races at Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo.

Starting from 16th and 15th on the respective grids, Rydell made steady progress in both heats – staged in scorching conditions under the Latin sun – to eventually come home tenth in Race 1 and ninth in the concluding Race 2. The results mark an early milestone for Honda Racing team Sweden, yielding three world championship points on the squad’s very first weekend of WTCC activity.

Race wins in Argentina were shared by reigning WTCC champion José María López (Citroën) and France’s Sébastien Loeb (Citroën).

Round two of the 2015 WTCC campaign takes place on the streets of Marrakech, Morocco, on April 17-19.

WTCC Race of Argentina Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo

Race 1:
1: José María López (Argentina/Citroën), 13 laps
10: Rickard Rydell (Sweden/Honda), +30.266s

Race 2:
1: Sébastien Loeb (France/Citroën), 15 laps
9: Rickard Rydell (Sweden/Honda), +30.607s

After 1/12 rounds

1: José María López (Argentina/Citroën), 48 p.
2: Sébastien Loeb (France/Citroën), 43 p.
3: Tiago Monteiro (Portugal/Honda), 28 p.
10: Rickard Rydell (Sweden/Honda), 3 p.

Rickard Rydell (driver)
“It’s a great feeling to be back in the WTCC, and given our lack of pre-season testing, I’m actually very pleased with the way this weekend unfolded. The heat has been incredible here in Argentina, with temperatures of more than 70 degrees inside the car, and these were two of the toughest races I’ve ever driven. I was getting good use of all the training I’ve done this winter!

“We went here knowing that one and a half days of testing in the cold of Italy wouldn’t be enough, but we have learned a lot and we are definitely making progress. We made changes to the car between every session – even between races, which is something you normally never do in the WTCC – and we have now got a month before Marrakech to analyse all the data. Leaving this event with points on the table is certainly a good start.”

Nicklas Karlsson (team principal)

“A positive weekend for us. We are very much aware that our pre-season preparations haven’t been as thorough as we would have liked, and we approached this event basically as an extended test. We have kept evaluating different set-ups all through the weekend, making radical changes, and we have taken a lot of valuable information out of that. The entire team have done a wonderful job, and scoring points here in Argentina surpasses our expectations at this stage of the season.

“Rickard was sitting 11th after the first run in qualifying, and about to improve on his next attempt, when we had an untimely technical problem. Without that, things could have potentially gone slightly better still. We continue to lack experience of the TC1 regulations compared to other teams, but we are getting there and expect to make continued headway in Morocco and throughout subsequent races.”[/fusion_text][/fullwidth]

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