Having clinched the first top spots of the TCR Europe Trophy in 2016 with Pierre-Yves Corthals and Fred Caprasse, this season the DG Sport Compétition team has moved up an echelon by entering two Opel Astra machines in the TCR International Series, the category’s reference championship.
If on the one hand Pierre-Yves Corthals has remained faithful to the Theux based team, for this new world campaign he has been joined by Mato Homola, a young, 22 year old Slovak driver.
This last weekend the first of this season’s ten meetings was held on the new Rustavi Motorpark in Georgia, a rather exotic destination.
Following Mato Homola’s encouraging seventh place in the first practice session, one would have hoped for better places on the starting grid than 12th (Mato Homola) and 14th (Pierre-Yves Corthals) for the two Opel Astra. After a first race held under drizzle, the Slovak driver crossed the chequered flag in 11th position, followed by the Belgian Corthals in 12th.
During the second race on a dry track, Mato Homola was the victim of an accident with another competitor in the first bend, forcing him to retire with a damaged rear end. Pilou Corthals had better fortune crossing the finish line in tenth place. As the result of two competitors being penalised, this allowed the driver to score four points in the TCR International Series for DG Sport Compétition.
Reactions following this first weekend
Mato Homola :
“Having discovered a new car I’m pretty confident about the future, because the potential of this Opel Astra is really big. I’m also extremely satisfied to be working with DG Sport Compétition’s technical team, highly professional and motivated. We worked well in this first race and progressed during each session. Unfortunately, I feel that for us this BOP (Balance of Performance) is disadvantageous. But I’m already impatient to meet up with the team soon in Bahrain.”
“We really worked hard all weekend, but with this BOP it’s impossible for us to keep up with the pack’s pace. I gave it all my all without ever really having the feeling of being able to battle it out with the others on an equal footing, and that’s rather frustrating.”
Christian Jupsin, Team Manager DG Sport Compétition:
“Even if on the one hand we progressed throughout this first entire weekend in TCR International Series, we’re lacking a second in performance. The engineers and mechanics put in a colossal amount of work to try to find solutions with a view to improving the performance of our Opel Astra cars, who were clocking up similar times. I thank them. But we must acknowledge that the BOP presently penalises us far too heavily in order to play up front! “
The following meeting is already scheduled in a fortnight’s time in Bahrain, during the Formula One Grand Prix, where the DG Sport Compétition team hopes to score a maximum number of points.