Honda Racing team Sweden on verge of points in Moscow

Jun 7, 2015

Honda Racing team Sweden on verge of points in Moscow

Moscow, June 7, 2015

Honda Racing team Sweden on verge of points in Moscow

Honda Racing team Sweden came close to scoring points on its return to the FIA World Touring Car Championship grid in Russia this weekend, completing both of Sunday’s two races at Moscow Raceway to gather some much-needed information for the future.

The Moscow event finally saw the all-Swedish team re-join the WTCC paddock with driver Rickard Rydell having recovered sufficiently from thyroiditis, which had forced the outfit to sit out the previous three rounds. On his return, Rydell finished 13th in the opening race of the weekend, and then just missed out on the final points-paying position as he came home 11th in the subsequent Race 2 – three seconds ahead of reigning world champion José María López (Citroën).

Honda Racing team Sweden’s efforts over the weekend were severely compromised by an issue clearing customs, causing the team to miss Friday’s free practice sessions.

Victories in Russia were claimed by Yvan Muller (Citroën) and Castrol Honda factory driver Tiago Monteiro respectively.

The next round of the FIA WTCC season takes place in Slovakia on June 19-21.

Rickard Rydell (driver)

“A pretty unusual weekend. We missed all of free practice on Friday, which was the last thing we needed after already running behind schedule. Also, I had never been to Moscow Raceway before this weekend, so I would have really needed those laps to learn the circuit. The car only arrived a few hours before the start of Saturday practice, which left us with very limited time to prepare the right set-up ahead of qualifying.

“Still, we did manage to complete two solid races, and we learned a lot from that. We are still in the middle of a steep learning curve, but we are improving all the time.”

Nicklas Karlsson (team principal)

“Given the circumstances, there wasn’t a whole lot more we could achieve this weekend. You just can’t afford to lose a full day of practice if you’re competing in a world championship, and the situation at customs control meant we were always going to be one step behind. We simply had to do our best, and I specifically want to highlight the efforts of our fantastic personnel. They always stay positive and work as hard as ever when the going gets tough. Ultimately, we didn’t have the pace we wanted this weekend, but there were very real reasons for that and we are already looking forward to the rest of the season.”

RESULTS
WTCC Race of Russia – Moscow Raceway

Race 1
1: Yvan Muller (France/Citroën), 16 laps
13: Rickard Rydell (Sweden/Honda), +24.517s

Race 2
1: Tiago Monteiro (Portugal/Honda), 16 laps
11: Rickard Rydell (Sweden/Honda), +21.686s

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
After 5/12 rounds

1: José María López (Argentina/Citroën), 199 p.
2: Yvan Muller (France/Citroën), 164 p.
3: Sébastien Loeb (France/Citroën), 135 p.
17: Rickard Rydell (Sweden/Honda), 3 p.

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