Hyundai setup the key to strong Nürburgring qualifying says Niels Langeveld
Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Niels Langeveld says he is finally able to show his true potential after narrowly missing out on pole for the opening TCR Europe race of the Nürburgring weekend.
The Hyundai Elantra driver qualified third on the grid for Race 1 but only ended up eight-hundredths of a second behind eventual pole man, Brutal Fish Racing’s Isidro Callejas.
With this in mind, the Dutchman feels things are on the rise after a season which has yet to produce the race results he believes he is capable of achieving.
“The only unfortunate thing so far is that I missed out on pole position by such a small amount,” Langeveld said.
“To be honest, I can be happy but it’s a pity that the other drivers are not on the pace. Looking at things personally, finally I have a weekend which is going well from FP1 to Q2. In the past, I had several issues with the car but I know I am able to do it. Now the potential is coming out finally; I’m here to be the best, show the pace we have and to win.”
Langeveld was quick in Friday’s free practice sessions and topped the opening segment of qualifying after producing a sensational lap, during which he was half a second faster than anyone else in the first sector.
He was on track to repeat that performance in Q2, but was narrowly edged out by a pair of similarly impressive times from Callejas and fellow front-row start Franco Girolami. Indeed, Langeveld was the only Elantra driver to make it into Q2, and feels the set-up on his car was the key to his strong qualifying.
Despite this, Langeveld is focusing less on the disappointment of missing pole, but instead targeting race victory.
“There’s always somewhere you can make or lose time and I thought I missed the potential of three-tenths in the second sector,” he explained.
“I had a little bit more understeer in Q2; the balance of this car is important because it’s quite a long wheelbase, so you have to hit the sweet spot and every step we took so far was the right one.”