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Hungarian Racing Driver Norbert Michelisz Opened Season with Electrical and Wheel Issues in Morocco

Fanni Kaszás 2018.04.09.

Norbert Michelisz’s 2018 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) season started off with difficulties in Morocco this weekend. Although he was about to take pole position after the first free practice, but he had to face electrical and wheel issues from the second practice on. 

The 2017 WTCC runner-up missed all of the second practice session after an electrical problem with his Hyundai i30 N TCR. He went on to set the pace in qualifying before his car started blasting flames out from the rear and dripped oil over the track, causing a red flag.

With engines required to last a full season unless the change is needed due to damage caused by another competitor, Michelisz took a full grid penalty and dropped to the back of the order. After starting over from the 25th place, on lap five he stopped again on track with the front-left wheel coming loose.

He said after the first qualifying session:

To be honest, finishing last season in a bad way and now starting this season like this is a bit down, but we have 29 races left so nothing is lost.

On Sunday, Michelisz closed the first race with a seventh place finish. In the second race, Michelisz’s biggest competition, Yvan Muller, crashed the Hungarian’s car into the wall. The four-time world champion French driver only got a warning, but Michelisz fell back to from third to fifth place.

You can watch a video of the incident at the start here:

Michelisz closed the season-opening main races with a fifth and  seventh place finishes, and a third place on the second qualifier. With these results and 3 completed races out of 30, Michelisz is now in eighth place in overall standings with 22 points.