Media Centre, Wuhan International Street Circuit, 18h30, 7 October 2018
Gordon Shedden, Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team, first position Race 3
Frédéric Vervisch, Audi Sport Team Comtoyou, second position Race 3
Denis Dupont, Audi Sport Team Comtoyou, third position Race 3
Gordon, your first victory in the championship after what I’d imagine were some of the hardest and most intense races you’ve experienced.
Yes, wins in the WTCR don’t come easy and today has been exactly that: trials and tribulations, ups and downs from a fantastic qualifying this morning to qualify on pole position and then get involved with somebody who hit me in Race 2 and broke the steering rack. The guys at WRT did an amazing job to replace the steering rack. I didn’t even think I’d make the grid to be able to start from pole position. Race 3 was very eventful, there was lots going on. Denis [Dupont] was exciting… but we made it to the end and it’s fantastic to get my first win and also to have two more Audis on the podium. It has been a fantastic day for the RS 3 Audis.
At that first corner you mentioned the driver sitting right next to you here. There was some contact. What actually happened and what did it do to the car?
Street circuits are notoriously tight and it’s obviously difficult to judge braking points, and I was determined to make sure I got to Turn 1 first. A little bit of contact – and a strange one later on when Denis clipped a tyre bundle and it threw it into the side of my car. It sounded crazy in the car, like a bomb had gone off. I’d never heard anything like it and didn’t have a clue what had happened. But the car survived and we made it to the end, and that’s all that matters. First win and I could not be happier.
Is it fair to say you have never been hit by a tyre bundle before?
It was just so strange because I had no idea what had happened, I was just minding my own business. The resonance was so loud it was deafening in the car – it was crazy.
Frédéric, still chasing that first WTCR OSCARO victory, and a sixth podium for you now. Could you have done anymore to beat Gordon?
First of all, congratulations to Gordon. I think he deserved his win, he’s had a difficult season and it’s good to see him up there with all the Audis, so congrats again. Congrats to Denis as well, who did a very good job, since last week, he found really good pace. We had all cars in the points and on podiums more or less, which is great. In Race 3 I think I had a bit more pace than Gordon – not a lot – but to find a clean overtaking [point] was quite difficult and I didn’t want to cause any unnecessary contact. I think I have to be happy with second. I was quite constant all weekend and hopefully I can have some more like that.
Denis, before last weekend you hadn’t scored a podium in this championship and now you have two. But your race looked a bit entertaining to watch on live TV. What was it like from your perspective?
It must have been a good show and I’m sorry for Gordon at first because it was not what we wanted. I hit the tyres after the long left and I didn’t want to hit him, so I went straight into the tyres that finally hit him! But the pace was really good at the beginning which is very positive. Better than Race 2 actually because the pace was not there, but we made changes and that was very positive.
The next race is Suzuka, a circuit many have not been to before. What do you think it could bring for you?
I think it should suit our Audis on the straights, but we will see also with the BoP and the compensation weights and so on. But Comtoyou has done a very good job and I’m pretty sure we will be as competitive as we can be.