Norbert Michelisz, the King of WTCR, turns 36 today (8 August). Here are five great quotes from the BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse driver.

On winning an FIA world title…“It was the longest day of my life, like a rollercoaster because Race 1 was quite good, winning the race. In Race 2 the visibility was very bad, I had cars flying all around me, coming from left and right and I went straight on under braking at Turn 9. It was a bit unlucky but I managed to recover some places and climb back to eighth, which was vital for the title. Before Race 3 it looked like I wouldn’t even start, but what matters is we managed to achieve what we really wanted to. However, the most important thing is to say a huge thank you to my family, to the team and all the Hungarian people who have been supporting me for more than 10 years.”

On his progression from simracer to World Touring Car winner…“A bit more than 10 years ago I was sitting at home dreaming about driving a racing car. I really wanted to become a racing car driver somehow. On the inside I felt this was my destiny, but in our [family’s] position, at 18 I realised that probably I was not going to make it. But then I was invited for a test when I was 21. That was 2005 and it was the first time for me driving a racing car because of my gaming results. Year by year I managed to climb a bit higher. Even coming from Hungary to get a works seat was something unbelievable, let alone winning races and being in a position to fight for a world title on two occasions.”

On making up for 2017’s near miss…“The two weeks after that final race in Qatar in 2017 was one of the worst periods in my career because I was so much down. I really felt it was in my hands, but then it just slipped away. I was honestly thinking about quitting. I have to say I changed a lot during the last two years. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve become a father but I realise I am much better in setting my priorities between things in my life. Since I have children, they just fulfil all the things. I don’t want to say the title is not important but my having children is helping me because in the past I was a bit too much pressurising myself, always wanting to know everything, always analysing everything, planning everything. But with experience you realise you are not always in a position to do that and most of the time you cannot prepare for all scenarios. Without the experience in 2017 I would not have won the title this year. And If I look back, if I could pick a script, I would go for this one with all the troubles, all the difficulties, all the wonderful moments with me sitting here and enjoying it.”

On his new approach…“Becoming a father doesn’t mean it’s less important for me to become world champion but I just changed a lot with my approach. Before becoming a father, you can listen to people a lot and experienced what it might be like. But when you become a father it’s sometimes so intense you discover feelings and approaches from your side which you didn’t understand were inside you. It’s the most beautiful part of my life now but I don’t want to say it’s easy because sometimes it’s very tough.”

On his title defence this season…“I can’t wait to be in the same position again. I think that this title and the psychological plus from it will make me a better driver for the following seasons. If you win a race you feel you are strong enough to win more races and then the next target is to win a championship [and then more championships when you win one championship].”

Essential details

Date of birth:8 August 1984
Team:BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse
Car:Hyundai i30 N TCR
WTCR 2019 finishing position:First
WTCR all-time record (as of 01/08/20):
Fastest laps:4
Laps led:65
Points scored:618

Coronel calls on Ring expert and WTCR winner Leuchter for extra tips

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