Spanish rookie Mikel Azcona has apologised to Argentine Esteban Guerrieri after an incident at Sepang on Sunday that caused the latter to lose the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) title.
“I am really sorry for what happened to Esteban (Guerrieri), I definitely did not want it to end this way,” said Azcona after the race.
According to the Spaniard, he and Guerrieri found themselves in such a situation where both were under pressure to win.
“I did not crash into him on purpose and I didn’t like this situation we were in.
“While he was battling for the championship title, I was battling for the rookie championship title with Kristoffersson who was behind me at the time,” said Azcona.
Racing can be cruel at times, and Azcona and Guerrieri were caught in one of those days. Race Three, which turned dramatic, had started late due to an incident in Race Two which saw the car of Nicky Catsburg from BRC Hyundai N Lukoil Racing catching fire.
Guerrieri of the ALL-INK.COM Munnich Motorsport team, had taken the lead not long after the start of Race Three while Michelisz of BRC Hyundai Squadra Corse was further down the pack.
Azcona, however, shunted Guerrieri on lap five which forced the latter to briefly go off track. Grass then covered Guerrieri’s radiator, causing him to lose power and he had no choice but to pit to get the issue resolved.
Guerrieri ended the race in 22nd position while Michelisz crossed the line fifth to take the world title with a 23-point advantage over the former. Johan Krisoffersson of the Sebastien Loeb Racing Volkswage team, won the race.
Azcona crossed the line in second place but was later demoted to 14th due to the incident with Guerrieri.
Guerrieri conceded that it was just not his day but congratulated Michelisz for the win.
“Congratulations to Norbert (Michelisz), I know him very well, he is a good person and an equally good driver,” said Guerrieri.