Tough KUMHO FIA TCR World Tour opener brings Lynk & Co Cyan Racing podiums


A tough 2024 KUMHO FIA TCR World Tour season opener at Vallelunga brought Lynk & Co Cyan Racing two podium finishes courtesy Yann Ehrlacher and Santiago Urrutia.

The high-speed Italian circuit proved difficult for the Lynk & Co 03 TCR drivers, lacking in top speed compared to its main rivals from Hyundai and Honda due to the current balance of performance parameters. The first race saw Yann Ehrlacher starting from the front row in second place, a position he kept behind race winner Norbert Michelisz of Hyundai.

“The first race was tough and intense. I was able to take the lead on the first lap, but after that I just couldn't follow Michelisz's pace on the straights. The second race was a disappointment as I had to pit because of a loose bonnet following contact earlier in the race. The podium was nice to score for the team, but we have a lot of work to do for the remaining part of the season,” said Yann Ehrlacher.

The second reversed grid race had Santiago Urrutia starting from second place and the Uruguayan driver made a copy of his French team-mate’s result in the first race, coming home in second place behind Hyundai driver Néstor Girolami.

“I started second, did a good race and finished second. There was nothing else I could do, it was not enough for the win but still good points. We have the same problem as we had in Macau last year, we lack top speed due to the regulations,” said Santiago Urrutia.

Thed Björk secured a fifth and sixth place finish, battling hard in the mid-field, while team-mate Ma Qing Hua finished eighth and ninth.

“It was two hard races this weekend with a lot of fighting. Two sixth places is obviously not what we were aiming for. We need to head home now and see what we can do for the coming races,” said Thed Björk.

“This was not the result I wanted or the team wanted. I fought hard in the races but there was nothing we could do on the straights. Let’s hope that we have a better next race weekend in Marrakech, which will be an exciting place to come back racing at,” said Ma Qing Hua.

The first race weekend got Santiago Urrutia placed fifth in the drivers’ championship and Thed Björk sixth, while Lynk & Co Cyan Racing is placed second in the teams’ championship.

The KUMHO FIA TCR World Tour heads to Africa next and Morocco for the second round of 2024 at Circuit Moulay El Hassan in Marrakech on May 3-4.

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