Norbert Michelisz “didn’t leave a lot on the table” to Vallelunga win

Hyundai driver Norbert Michelisz cruised to what looked like an easy win in the first race of the 2024 FIA TCR World Tour season at Vallelunga.

The Hungarian lost the lead to Lynk & Co’s Yann Ehrlacher at the start, but quickly overtook his rival and never looked back.

“It was not easy,” revealed the BRC driver to TouringCarTimes.

“I was a bit worried for the start because I was in the shade and I wasn’t sure about the approach, I had to guess and I decided to go for a more cautious approach to try to avoid wheel spin. I had a good start, but Yann [Ehrlacher]’s was even better and he got past.”

A nice switchback out of the last corner provided a clean pass for the lead.

“Driving behind him I realized my car was very strong. The lap before he took the inside line and I could see he didn’t have much grip. I went for the outside line by chance and I knew I had better grip, so it was a straightforward cutback. After that my car was great, so I could open the gap,” said Michelisz.

When asked if he then started to manage his car, Michelisz confessed the mixed conditions meant he couldn’t afford to leave much on the table.

“Not so much, to be honest. You never know what the pace of the others will look like when it dries up, so when I had the chance to open the gap I did it. Even then, I didn’t leave a lot on the table. Of course you need to manage possible punctures as well, but I did my best,” said Michelisz.

As for today’s race, Michelisz is conscious of the huge task of gaining places at Vallelunga, as he starts from tenth due to the reversed grid.

“I will start from tenth and try to stay out of trouble. A lot depends on the start. We still have the chance to fine tune the car a little bit, but when you start from far back you also have to be aware that you will stress the tyres more, so for me today will be about scoring points, I guess,” said Michelisz.