Photo: TCR Europe

Stian Paulsen calls first Hockenheim race “like rallycross”

Stian Paulsen had a high octane return to the TCR Europe series, with the Norwegian caught up in incidents during the first two laps of the first race on Saturday at Hockenheim, ending in retirement in his Cupra TCR.

Paulsen, who’d missed the first round due to budget issues, qualified 13th for the first race and was fighting his way forward, making contact with the Target Competition Hyundais of Mat’o Homola and Dusan Borkovic, both of which lambasted the Norwegian’s “crazy” driving.

The 31-year-old believed his moves were fair, and also counted himself lucky to have not been caught up in the multi-car incident at Turn 6 on lap two, which saw the WestCoast Racing Volkswagen of Gianni Morbidelli out of the race with broken suspension.

“I only did two laps of it, it was like rallycross,” said Paulsen to TouringCarTimes.

“Yes, I was doing some hard overtakes, that’s racing – it was crazy. Especially on the second lap into the hairpin, I had to turn away from five guys who were braking too late, and if I didn’t see them, we’d have crashed.

“When I overtook Dusan, I broke the rear toe arm, but that’s just what it is sometimes.

“Most of the damage is just plastic and carbon fibre, no huge damage.”