WTCC Michelisz: « I have to give 100 per cent to be ready for then »

Norbert Michelisz © DR

Norbert Michelisz will form part of the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team’s attack on the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2017. This is what the 32-year-old from Hungary has said.


– Your 2017 testing programme with the Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team began in Aragon last month – how did it go?
Norbert Michelisz : « Very good, I enjoyed getting back in the car because too much time has passed since [last season’s final round in] Qatar and I really missed driving the Honda Civic. It was fun, but on top of that I was really happy because we did three days [of testing] and the car was working very good. We had some updates and all of them were working fine. You always need reliability with the car, but we managed to get that so everyone is really happy inside the team. »

– But what about performance, were you happy with that?
Norbert Michelisz : « The target was not to exploit maximum performance now; it was just about seeing how all the new parts are working and if they are a good combination. Then we have many more test sessions coming where we can focus on performance rather than reliability. »

– Has a successful test raised your hopes for the year ahead?
Norbert Michelisz : « I was quite confident already in November and December with the updates that were coming. The potential of the car is there; we just have to exploit it and I’m sure we will do that. »

– Your new team-mate Ryo Michigami was testing. Was it good working with him and how much did you help him?
Norbert Michelisz : « We had two cars at the test. My main focus was on driving the updated car, but whenever I had some time I was keen to help Ryo. I like him a lot, he’s very focused. I’ve known him since Motegi last year. I really like his attitude – calm, quiet and focused 100 per cent on what he is doing. He did a lot of running and that was useful for him because he has the least experience. He improved quite a lot from the first lap to the end of the third day. He will be a strong contender. »

– How much will you miss your former team-mate Rob Huff?
Norbert Michelisz : « Having a world champion in a team is a big asset. I loved having Rob in the team, but seeing Ryo’s improvement in performance I am sure he will be there as well. Of course, it’s bad to lose an asset like Rob, but with Ryo we have another very strong asset inside the team.