Priaulx punished twice over

ANDY PRIAULX has hit out at driving standards after being unnecessarily forced out of race one of three at Suzuka, Japan.

Andy Priaulx at Suzuka where he finished strongly. (26184673)
Andy Priaulx at Suzuka where he finished strongly. (26184673)

It was a tough weekend for the Guernseyman who, through no fault of his own, saw his Lynk & Co 03 TCR end up in the barriers.

In race two he was 16th and in race three fifth.

‘I am hugely disappointed with the driving standards and that I did not finish the [first] race,’ he said later.

Culprit Nicky Catsburg was given a drive through, and took it during the race, but as the Sarnian said: ‘that didn’t help me at all’.

It was deeply frustrating as Priaulx had begun the weekend in fine form on the East Course of the Suzuka circuit that he quickly came to terms with and liked enormously.

On Friday he was first in the first two qualifying sessions for race one and then after Q3 was fifth on the grid.

Sadly he was not able to translate this into a podium challenge and then he was hit from behind by the Hyundai of Catsburg and ended up hitting the barriers very hard.

To add insult to injury Priaulx was also given a 10-place grid penalty for walking across the track and crossing the white line at the pit lane exit.

True to his word the Lynk & Co Cyan Racing driver put that behind him and after the end of the further two races said he was ‘much happier’.

‘I had to defend really hard for almost the entire final race, but want to say thanks to Tarquini and Huff for tough but fair fights.

‘I am glad I have helped the team get more valuable championship points. The good result with the fight for pole in qualifying is something I shall take with me to the next race of the season in Macau, which is one of my favourite circuits.’

Priaulx needs a good performance as he now stands in a lowly 20th of 26 in the drivers’ championship.

Remaining rounds: 17 November – China-Macau; 15 December – Malaysia-Sepang.

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