The FIA WTCR presented by OSCARO kicked-off on a high note! The opening round held at Marrakech confirmed the level of competition where places were hard fought over. Up against competition as sharp as they were experienced, the DG Sport Compétition showed a convincing start and claimed its first points.
Right from the start, the new PEUGEOT 308 TCR entered by the Belgian formation held their own up against competitors who, in their majority, were starting their second season: “We are obviously delighted that our ‘lions’ promptly proved their reliability and performance”, Lionel Hansen, the team’s technical director commented. “This first confrontation showed that there was hardly anything between all the makes. As they are represented by teams of an extremely high level with the best specialists of the discipline, the battle is extremely tight and in qualifying, 2/10th of a second won or lost implies the gain...or the loss of seven or eight places in the hierarchy. The meeting in Marrakech has encouraged me regarding the major potential of the PEUGEOT 308 TCR and our team that is about to experience a gripping season!”
As from Race 1, Aurélien Comte was the centre of attention crossing the line in a convincing 8th place at the end of a drive smoothly conducted and which saw him clock up his best lap time in the 16th of the 20 laps, proof of the car’s constancy. Mat’o Homola had less fortune: closed in at the start, the young Slovak was hit by several competitors and preferred to retire just after the half-way mark, aware that he had little hope of achieving anything on a track lay-out where overtaking is extremely tricky. Bad luck then hit Aurélien Comte, forced to retire in Race 2 as the result of a broken intercooler due to contact with another competitor; this minor accident brought about an electric issue preventing the French driver from defending his chances in the final race. As for his teammate, he finished Sunday’s races in 12th and 13th place.
As outcome DG Sport Compétition left Morocco having registered its 6 first points in the WTCR. As such the man in charge of the Theux based structure, Christian Jupsin has drawn a positive assessment when it comes to having discovered this world series:” It goes without saying that we would have wished returning to Belgium with more points but taking into account the level of this championship and the youthfulness of our car, I am satisfied with these first steps. La PEUGEOT 308 TCR is reliable and performs well and the team worked well. As from Thursday we will be at Circuit Zolder to take advantage of the information gathered in Marrakech and test the various technical configurations. I’m persuaded that we will swiftly progress with a view to a first podium during one of the following meetings.”
Rendezvous for the second round of the FIA WRC presented by OSCARO to be held at the Hungaroring on 28th and 29th April.