PWR Racing ecstatic with strong opening round in Morocco
Reigning STCC teams’ champions PWR Racing have said they’re delighted with their standout performance in their first World Touring Car Cup weekend, with a top ten finish for team owner/driver Daniel Haglöf, and a podium for WTCR newcomer Mikel Azcona.
The team filed its entry for the season just hours before the FIA deadline on 30th January this year, taking the place of the Campos Racing team after the Spanish squad stood down its touring car operation, and had two months to put together its package for the season.
Signing 2018 TCR Europe series champion Mikel Azcona to join Daniel Haglöf at the team, with limited pre-season testing, and with a Swedish-based team with limited experience in World Touring Cars, expectations were measured.
“I’m so happy that we got this first podium, and for me to have gone from 18th to tenth (in Race 3), it was quite unexpected from the weekend,” said Haglöf to TouringCarTimes.
“I was disappointed in qualifying as we had the same speed as Saturday, but we had some issues with the brakes.
“It’s a shame we lost out on eighth in the first race when I had a puncture, but in the end the results of the weekend were more than what we could have hoped for.
“When people have been writing about PWR Racing, they’ve said this season will be very tough for us, but in this first race weekend we’ve showed we have some good potential.”
The next rounds of the championship take place at the Hungaroring and the Slovakiaring, which have been where the teams have been doing the bulk of their pre-season testing.
“We need to have an open mind when we come to the proper tracks, where the bigger budget teams can stretch their legs a little more,” added Haglöf.
Azcona, who broke into Qualifying 3 at his first opportunity and qualified fifth, before scoring his and PWR Racing’s first WTCR podium, said:
“The feeling is amazing. My first race in WTCR and I’m on the podium, I cannot believe it,” he said. “Months ago, I didn’t have anything close to being done for this year…and at the last moment we could close everything and now we are in WTCR.
“I’m super-happy for Cupra and PWR Racing and I cannot believe I have a podium in my first race in WTCR.
“This is my first time here in Morocco, I’ve never been here or at this track – and it’s a very difficult track; after this weekend I feel really strong, so for the next weekends at different tracks, I’m going to feel much better – we will see what happens at the next race in Hungary.”