Slovakia WTCC: Honda hails 'miraculous' result
|By Sam Tremayne||Saturday, April 27th 2013, 17:00 GMT|
Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro hailed as a 'miracle' Honda's 1-2-3 in World Touring Car qualifying at the Slovakia Ring.
Significant damage in the previous round in Marrakech meant the JAS-run team had to prepare an entirely new chassis for Monteiro and make substantial fixes to Tarquini's.
Honda has also had to contend with a litany of issues on the Zengo-run car of Norbert Michelisz, including an exhaust fire during the opening practice in Slovakia.
"It's a miracle we are here really," Monteiro said following qualifying.
"The car was really destroyed after Marrakech, but the team did an amazing job.
"After two difficult events, especially in qualifying, we are back in a very strong position. I really never thought we could have that."
Tarquini lauded the team's efforts, saying the qualifying sweep surpassed all his expectations.
"It's a surprise also to me - to be 1-2-3 here is a dream," he said.
"We had a lot of problems at Marrakech, but the guys at JAS have made miracles to prepare another chassis for Tiago and to adjust my chassis, which was a little bent - not like before Marrakech.
"Tomorrow at least we have three chances to win."
Honda's European motorsport manager William de Braekeleer told AUTOSPORT that qualifying was a fantastic reward for the team's collective efforts.
"Of course I'm happy to have a 1-2-3, but I'm more happy for the teams, especially Zengo," he said.
"Since the beginning of the year they have been affected by little things, each time with a great consequence.
"I'm also happy for JAS, because after Marrakech one car was a total loss, other they had to replace the full rear of the car, and all that in 10 days effectively. This is a fantastic reward for them."