Mixed day for Michigami in the WTCC

Mixed day for Michigami in the WTCC

16/07/2017 at 05:00Updated 16/07/2017 at 11:50

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Ryo Michigami missed out on a possible front-row slot for today’s Opening Race at FIA WTCC Race of Argentina after picking up a penalty for an enforced engine change.

The Japanese driver was a WTCC career-best of ninth in Qualifying Q2, which ordinarily would have handed him second place on the grid for the first 11-lap contest at Circuito Termas de Río Hondo.

But the engine change ahead of Saturday qualifying means Michigami will start from the back of the grid in his Honda Racing Team JAS Civic instead.

“It’s been a very mixed day for me,” said Michigami, who is racing in Argentina for the first time. “On the one hand, I’m very pleased to qualify ninth – my best in the WTCC – especially as I didn’t get much opportunity to learn the circuit in FP1 with the red flags or FP2 with the engine issue.

“Without the engine-change penalty I’d be starting from the front row in the Opening Race, which would have been great, but I know that I can go forwards from my grid positions in both races as long as I can have a trouble-free day – and some good luck. After the engine change, I spent time in the pits because of a boost issue and this meant we had to do MAC3 slowly because we wanted to preserve the car.”