Yann Ehrlacher has recalled the moment he spun and won at WTCR Race of Macau last season.
Ehrlacher, then part of the Honda-powered ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport line-up, completed a dramatic 360-degree spin on the run down to the tight Lisboa right-hander on the opening lap of Race 2 following rear contact from Pepe Oriola.
Despite spinning, Ehrlacher actually gained a position to place sixth in the final order.
“A lot of people talk to me about this,” said Ehrlacher, who drives for Cyan Performance Lynk & Co in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO. “That was a crazy one and I even gained position, I didn’t crash that much the car and I finished the race but it could have been really bad. Actually a 360 in Macau, it’s not often you can escape from this unhurt so it was a good memory because it ended up well.”
Ehrlacher explained how the drama unfolded. “I was behind Yvan [Muller] so I was not taking any risk. Behind, Pepe braked a little bit late and hit me in the rear right corner and I just spun before Lisboa. I hit the wall backwards and managed to catch it. There was a bit of a mess with Pepe going into the other guys because he lost the wheel. So, I just managed to go through. The car was looking okay from the inside, the wing was a bit bent, but that’s how it happened.”
Asked what his then engineer, Dave Scott, had to say, Ehrlacher remembers he did not see the incident unfold live.
“He was a bit focused on his papers [so didn’t see it live] but I told him on the radio if he could see the car and was it okay? He just replied and said ‘why shouldn’t it be okay? And I just replied: ‘f*ck, I just did a 360 before Lisboa!’ Then he was watching the replay and just said ‘holy sh*t’. I was asking if the rear wing was fine and he said, ‘it looks okay’. So, I said, ‘for doing Mandarin [corner] flat out I need more than ‘it’s okay’. But he said, ‘it will be fine’ and three laps after this we did our fastest lap.”
Ehrlacher has form when it comes to racing on street tracks having completed the WTCR Race of Portugal weekend back in July as the TAG Heuer Most Valuable Driver for the most points scored.
“I like the street tracks quite a lot and I feel quite confident in the Lynk & Co so I can use the full potential of it quite quickly in the sessions,” said the Frenchman. “Vila Real was a good one but the only common point is that it’s in the streets. Macau is high speed and there are all the guys like Rob [Huff] with their experience who are really strong here. It will be tough. Last year we did P3 and top five in both qualifying so I have quite lot of expectation. I am looking forward how our pace compares to the others and scoring as many points as possible for myself and the team.”