For its fourth meeting the FIA WTCR presented by Oscaro travelled to Zandvoort (The Netherlands) where no less than 100,000 spectators were on hand to celebrate the national star Max Verstappen. Present with his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, the Red Bull F1 team driver as a connoisseur was able to watch first-hand the initial confrontation of the FIA WTCR which saw the Peugeot 308 TCR claim a first podium… calling for more.
It is a known fact that the Lion logoed car is reliable, so it was down to proving its top speed. Zandvoort would suit the machine far better than the specific track lay-outs that had welcomed the season’s first three rounds calling on a more traditional circuit. In addition, the DG Sport Compétition team had taken advantage of a work session at Zolder to fine tune the preparation for the journey to the circuit located along the North Sea.
Right from the start the Peugeot 308 TCR confirmed its potential, with a splendid 7th place on the grid for Aurélien Comte. Thanks to a dream start, the young Frenchman was up in 2nd place as from the first full lap in the renowned Tarzan curve, but the Clerk of the Course was obliged to interrupt the battle following a serious crash at the back of the pack. At the restart, the driver of the Peugeot 308 TCR n°7 retained his position and brilliantly defended the attacks put in by the experienced Rob Huff to cross the line in 2nd spot, offering the DG Sport Compétition team its first podium: “This superb result could not have come at a better time and is a delight”, Aurélien commented upon climbing out of the car. “Already last year the race of the TCR Benelux had shown us how well the Peugeot 308 performed on this track. I’m truly proud of this silver medal because I had to fight tooth and nail through to the end up against pretty talented rivals! All in all, my thanks to the Peugeot Sport management for the trust they placed in me and to the entire DG Sport Compétition crew for the on-going work they have put in allowing my car to evolve. See you tomorrow for another performance!”
Christian Jupsin, the man in charge of the Belgian structure, was also delighted with this first top performance in the FIA WTCR presented by Oscaro: “It is said that hard work pays off, and here is the proof! I am both happy and proud of this podium that rewards the hard work put in by the entire crew! I wish to associate all the Peugeot Sport personnel that really helped us to make further progress with our Peugeot 308 TCR. Unfortunately, Mato Homola was unable to play the role that he had wished for, especially seeing he generally produces similar lap times to those of Aurélien. His lack of experience on this specific track demanded a longer period of adaptation than foreseen, with the team producing the maximum to offer him a more adapted technical configuration which he will benefit from for the qualifying and the two races scheduled on Monday.”