Winner of the first TCR Trophy Europe in 2016, DG Sport Compétition has renewed its title. Many changes have occurred in the past twelve months though : after Pierre-Yves Corthals won last year aboard the Opel Astra in a race with several rounds, Aurélien Comte won this year for DG Sport Compétition during a Trophy consisting of just one round on the Italian circuit of Adria.
The verdict had just fallen over the TCR Benelux in Mettet and the team of DG Sport Compétition already headed for Italy to participate in the TCR Trophy Europe : "We took off as a small commando unit", says Alain Georges, boss of the team from Theux. "The 308 was very competitive in Mettet so we thought we could try our chances on the track of Adria, which has a similar profile. We did take into consideration the difficulty of the race though, because the level of the TCR has evolved a lot over the past months !"
The weekend didn't start all that well during the free riding sessions, which we used basically to solve some minor issues, but that changed during the qualifying sessions : "We made a few technical choices that turned out to be very fruitful, resulting in a very good setup", Lionel Hansen, technical manager, analyses. "We knew there was a challenge on the level of the torque and the power of the Peugeot. But we also knew that the chassis and the weight were real assets as they gave us a very even usage of the tires hence a constant power. I underline that the car we enrolled in Adria had the same specs as the TCR Benelux car : a 308 Racing Cup with a "light" TCR kit : another engine cartography and some adjustments to the rolling chassis."
In the first round we started 9th on the grid. Aurélien Comte did a great job and finished 4th, which resulted in the points from the 3rd : "Gabriele Tarquini was not considered in the results as his car hadn't been homologated yet", explains Alain Georges. "Aurélien did a perfect round and came back in a very strong peloton. And in the second round he did even better..."
This time he started 2nd on the grid. He left very fast and took the lead as from the first turn. He resisted everything and delivered a magnificent battle against veteran Gabriele Tarquini : "The experience I got from the promotion formula has paid off ! There I learned how to close doors and brake later, and to save the tires. I know the Peugeot 308 Racing Cup by heart and I knew the riding would remain stable until the end so I could take my chance against these two very strong opponents. I gave it my everything and took 2nd place, hence winning the second round but also finishing first in the general ranking !"
With a total of 45 points, the DG Sport Compétition rider finishes alongside Giacomo Altoe, but he gets the European title thanks to his victory in the second round : "It goes without saying that this is the result of an entire team, that is rewarded for the many efforts of the past months with a European title, the cherry on top of the cake", concludes Alain Georges. "Let's not forget that our Peugeot 308 Racing Cup was in the TCR Benelux' front line the entire season with drivers Aurélien Comte and Kevin Abbring. These performances are proof of the working level of Peugeot Sport, who we want to thank in particular for their support and faith in us."