The 8th round of the Wtcc 2006 took place in Turkey at the Istanbul park
During the free practice sessions Pierre-Yves learned the track and worked to find the right setup. The car showed immediately all the potentials;Pierre had the fastest speed in all the 3 sectors. He must have concentrated himself fully because the gap with the other competitors is so narrow that any mistake can make him loose few places. He ended up 4th in the independent field in both free practice sessions.
The qualifying session started well for Pierre-Yves. In the first 10 minutes, he was close to the top 10. The strategy was to change 4 times the tires during the session. Just after the first change of tires, it began to rain heavy. Half session through (15'), the Race Director declared that the rain tires were obligatory and that meant that the positions reached before the rain will not change anymore. Pierre-Yves qualified on the 19th overall position, 4th in the Independent Trophy. Pole position went to Rydell.
Pierre-Yves was starting 19th on the grid but gained 1 place before the start because the SEAT No.7 had to change the engine and so was retrograded.
We saw a great and a very exciting race from the Monroe/Honda driver who had a big fight with 2 BMW and 2 Alfa Romeo cars to enter into the top 10.
Pierre-Yves crossed the line at 11th position overall and 2nd in the Independent Trophy. What a superb result in this first heat! Very encouraging for the second race.
Between the two races, a storm was an unexpected guest. The race had to be delayed by 2 hours. In fact, one curve was submerged by the water and mud.
The more the drivers were waiting on the grid, the more the track was drying. But the question was: will the track continue to dry? What will be the best choice - wet or slick tires?
The team choice for the Honda Accord 23 was to start with the wet tires, to get a better idea of the real race conditions during the formation lap and eventually change the tires to slick which would also mean the start from the pit lane in the last position.
The circumstances were very tricky and the tyres choice very difficult: Pierre-Yves came to the pit at the end of the formation lap to put slick tires, but this option didn't finally pay off and Pierre-Yves finished the race on the 19th place.
The good news of the week-end is that Pierre-Yves is entering the top 5 in the Independent Trophy's classification.
Next round: Valencia -- October 7th- 8th