Emotional roller coaster ride for the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler.
It could have been the perfect WTCR conclusion for Attila Tassi in Saudi Arabia: the driver of the LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler had secured pole position with his Honda Civic Type R due to the reversed starting grid. He had an excellent start and was able to defend the lead with determination. However, his Honda was then unnecessarily hit by third-place finisher and damaged so badly that he had to pit. It was a very difficult final day for the Hungarian racing driver, because in the first race he had to make two unscheduled pit stops due to clutch problems and ultimately had to settle for 14th place.
Attila Tassi, LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler
"In Race One I had clutch issues, so the attention turned pretty quickly to getting the car back in one piece and making sure it was OK for Race Two. I knew I’d be starting with cars around me that were faster in a straight line so that made getting a good start vital. Once I’d held the lead I had a really nice fight and managed to keep my car ahead, but then at the start of lap three the car in third arrived with so much speed into the braking area and hit me - I don’t know why he released the brake. It’s not the way I wanted to end the season at all, but thank you to LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler and to Honda, not just for this year but the past four seasons."
Teammate Tiago Monteiro also fought every means at his disposal to get the best out of his Honda during the finale. However, he could not achieve more than 2 points and thus ended a mixed season with a result that did not satisfy him. He finished 13th in race one and finished 9th in race 2. The Portuguese has two WTCR wins in the past and would have liked to have taken his third win at the finale. After all, the Honda Civic R is the only car to have claimed victories in all 5 WTCR years: 22 in total.
Tiago Monteiro, LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler
"On a positive note, it’s good to finish in the top 10 in a weird race, but the performance was much like yesterday so it goes down as a frustrating end to a very character-building and difficult season. We did try to turn things around and find solutions, but overall the conditions we did them in probably weren’t ideal in a Championship where everything operates at such a high level. Time will tell what’s going to happen in 2023 but I’ve learned a lot this year so let’s gather everything up and analyse everything we could have done better, regroup and improve.
There will be no FIA WTCR in the current format in 2023. The TCR rights holder WSC is working on a new series.