Néstor Girolami scores on impressive WTCC debut

Jun 22, 2015

Néstor Girolami scores on impressive WTCC debut

Bratislava, June 21, 2015

Néstor Girolami showcased impressive pace on his FIA World Touring Car Championship debut this weekend, scoring a point for Honda Racing team Sweden at the Slovakia Ring.

The highly-rated Argentine Súper TC2000 champion swiftly settled into life on the international touring car arena, qualifying within 0.001 seconds of works Honda driver Tiago Monteiro – a winner last time out in WTCC Race of Russia. The effort, however, only yielded 18th place on the grids for the weekend’s two races as set-up issues and compensation weight affected the overall performance.

In Sunday’s opening 11-lap encounter, Girolami then used refined settings to full effect, making up four places on the opening lap alone and later passing Chevrolet’s Stefano D’Aste in the twisty infield section of the circuit. By the fall of the chequered flag, Girolami had hauled himself up to tenth place, scoring one world championship point at the first time of asking.

In the subsequent Race 2, the 26-year-old miraculously avoided contact with Ma Qing Hua’s stalled Citroën at the start, and went on to narrowly miss out on another points finish in 11th.

The WTCC field now moves on to France’s Circuit Paul Ricard, where the next round of the season is set to take place in just one week’s time. Honda Racing team Sweden regular Rickard Rydell will return to driving duties in France.

Néstor Girolami (driver)

”I am really happy to have scored a point in my first-ever race in the WTCC. We made a huge leap from qualifying to the races and the car felt very good today. I was extremely close to collecting Ma Qing Hua at the start of Race 2, but managed to avoid him with a few centimetres to spare. It was an exciting debut, that’s for sure! It has been an incredible experience this weekend and I have to say big thanks to the team for making this dream come true.”

Nicklas Karlsson (team principal)

”I think Néstor has demonstrated to everyone just why he is so highly rated by people within this sport. Coming into the WTCC mid-season, with no experience of the car or the championship as such, and score a point in your very first race is just massively impressive. He hasn’t put a wheel wrong all weekend, he challenged the factory Hondas in qualifying, and then used a much-improved car on Sunday to go from 18th to tenth in Race 1. We are very happy with his performance, of course, and we will be looking to build on that with Rickard at Paul Ricard next weekend.”

RESULTS
WTCC Race of Slovakia | Slovakia Ring

Race 1

1: Yvan Muller (France/Citroën), 11 laps
10: Néstor Girolami (ARG/Honda)
, +34.695s

Race 2
1: Sébastien Loeb (France/Citroën), 11 laps
11: Néstor Girolami (ARG/Honda)
, +32.150s

 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
After 6/12 rounds

1: José María López (Argentina/Citroën), 239 p.
2: Yvan Muller (France/Citroën), 209 p.
3: Sébastien Loeb (France/Citroën), 178 p.
18: Rickard Rydell (Sweden/Honda), 3 p.
21: Néstor Girolami (Argentina/Honda), 1 p.

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