Priaulx happy to play the ‘team game’ in soggy Sepang

ANDY PRIAULX finished up in Malaysia with one key success to toast in what was overall a difficult finale to his return season of ‘tin-top racing’.

Giving chase: Andy Priaulx looks to make up lost ground in Sepang. (Picture by Photo Florent Gooden/DPPI, 26694124)
Giving chase: Andy Priaulx looks to make up lost ground in Sepang. (Picture by Photo Florent Gooden/DPPI, 26694124)

The Guernseyman had been very proud to see Lynk & Co Cyan Racing take the team title in this year’s FIA World Touring Car Cup, through the efforts of Yvan Muller and Thed Bjork, despite a lack of individual results in changing conditions at the Sepang International Circuit.

Priaulx had finished 18th overall in the drivers’ championship and fifth in the team standings with Yann Ehrlacher in his own operation, Cyan Performance.

His initial qualifying troubles had promptly been followed up by a testing series of races where he thanked the ‘herculean effort’ of his crew for getting him back on track after significant car damage.

All four Cyan drivers had difficult qualifying sessions due to the Lynk & Co 03 TCR carrying the most weight and having the least amount of power in the WTCR field, in accordance with regulations.

Priaulx had been left disappointed after only being able to place 27th in both of Friday’s qualifying sessions.

Thankfully, he managed to improve his form for Sunday’s races, but this did not go without major incident.

Tyre choice was crucial with changing weather conditions and, thanks to making the right decision, he moved up to finish 11th in the first race.

Race two had a lot of standing water on the track and on the very first lap, Priaulx suffered severe damage to the front right of his car.

The race was red-flagged on lap two due to an enormous amount of carnage and a car on fire on the track. The mechanics worked flat-out on the No. 111 car and Priaulx started the race from the pit lane, finishing 21st.

Later, Priaulx again worked his way up the field to place 14th in the 30th and final race of the season.

Muller claimed the best individual result of the Cyan drivers in Malaysia, twice taking sixth, and also ended the drivers’ championship up in third.

But their greatest triumph came with winning the teams’ championship by a fair margin, meaning that Priaulx ended his first season under the WTCR banner in high spirits.

‘I had a strong pace this weekend, but it was important to play the team game to try and get Yvan and Thed up there in the drivers’ battle,’ he said.

‘Sadly neither of them took the title. This weekend has been tough with changing conditions and we have had other tough times during the year, but I have thoroughly enjoyed being in this championship and racing for such a great team.

‘While we didn’t get any wins today, we did clinch the team title and that is amazing in such a competitive championship.

‘I want to thank everyone in the team for the way they have worked so hard all year, and also my guys who turned round the car after the damage in the second race so I could get back into action. This was a true herculean effort.’

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