Pepe Oriola has expressed his delight after taking a double podium finish at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina.
The 19-year-old has seen his results dramatically improve since switching to a leased-RML prepared Chevrolet Cruze and a respectable run in qualifying saw him put his Tuenti Racing Team car on the third row in fifth.
For race one and two brave drives from the former SEAT driver then yielded second and third places respectively, results that keep his hopes of finishing in the top-three in the championship very much alive. He now has 125 points on the board and is in P7 in the standings.
“I had a very good qualifying and so I knew that I had a chance for a good result," he told the official WTCC site after the first race of the day. “It was a bit crazy at the start, in the first corner, I had several people hitting me from behind and so it was a little tough for me to fight with them.
“It was a really fine race though – it was the first time that I knew I could get on the podium, but I am still learning the car.
“This is a great result and I hope this is the start of a string of results like this between now and the end of the season.”
Speaking after the second race, he added: “To be on the podium twice in the same weekend is very pleasing. I'm really happy because I came to Argentina in eighth position in the championship and for sure I have improved my position as a result of these two podiums.”
“[Overall] it was a really strong weekend for us – Argentina has brought me some luck and I'm very happy.
“Maybe some of the other drivers wanted to gain a lot of positions early in the races by braking too late into the corners. I was content to wait and see if any of them made mistakes, so I'm very pleased,” he concluded.
by Dexter Fielding