Spanish youngster, Pepe Oriola says he is 'happy' despite taking two non-scores at the FIA WTCC Race of America at the Sonoma Raceway.

Oriola did qualify an impressive fourth, but was spun out in race one, after a small nudge from eventual race two victor, Gabriele Tarquini. Things went from bad to worse really, coupled with being ill and a failed clutch before the start of race two, which saw the 19 year old having to start from the back of the grid, eleventh and a late retirement in race two, did not bode well for his championship position aspirations.

The Tuenti Racing Chevrolet Cruze driver, whose car is currently on lease from Ray Mallock Ltd (RML), knows the challenge ahead and is desperate for stronger results to take a top five position in the championship, which is one of his targets.

"The truth is that, despite the result, I'm happy," he said. "I managed to be the fastest in free practice and we were fourth in the qualifying despite being ill. A contact and a breakdown prevented me from fighting for the points in the races, but while we were out there we were competitive and that's what matters.

"We leave Sonoma having scored two points and remaining in seventh position in the standings. Our goal remains to be fifth in the championship and I'm very satisfied with the work done."

The Catalonian remains seventh in the championship on 126 points, but is currently 33 points behind current fifth place resident and race one winner, Tom Chilton.

At Suzuka last year, Oriola did score second place in race one and will take heart from that come the Japanese race, which is next on the calendar in little over a weeks' time.

by Dexter Fielding


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