Photo: TCR Europe

Good start the key to Race 1 victory says Mikel Azcona

Race 1 winner Mikel Azcona says his “really good start” was the key to securing victory in the opening race of the TCR Europe season at the Slovakiaring.

Azcona started on the outside of the front-row behind polesitter Tom Coronel, but made the most of too much wheelspin for the latter off the line to lead into the first corner.

Having built a three-second lead over Coronel’s team-mate Nicolas Baert, Azcona believes his race was a “safe race” despite having to combat overheating tyres in the second half.

“It was a safe race, honestly,” Azcona said post-race.

“I had a really good start, I saw that Tom Coronel had too much wheelspin in my opinion so I could take the inside line for the first corner and from that moment, the first two laps I pushed really hard.

“After that, I heated the front tyres too much but at this moment I had a big enough gap to the second driver so it was a very comfortable pace.”

Azcona was happy to avoid all the action behind him, as Nicolas Baert battled Coronel during a hectic opening couple of laps.

The Cupra driver admitted that seeing Baert and Coronel scrapping behind gave him the incentive to build a healthy gap early on.

“That was the key,” said Azcona.

“In the first corners, I saw some overtakes behind, and I used this opportunity to build a big gap. The first two laps, I pushed a lot and then I lost a lot of grip in the front tyres and then I decided not to kill the tyres too much and just keep pushing on a normal pace.”