Dupont scores breakthrough first WTCR podium in Ningbo
Rising Belgian star Denis Dupont credited his emotional first podium finish in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO on hard work by his Audi Sport Team Comtoyou squad at WTCR Race of China-Ningbo on Sunday.
The 25-year-old, who is supported by the RACB National Team initiative, qualified in P6 for Race 3, just missing out on a place in the Q3 top-five shootout on Sunday morning. He then converted that grid slot into a fighting third place in his Audi RS 3 LMS, behind race winner Thed Björk and WTCR OSCARO points leader Gabriele Tarquini.
“For sure, we have been struggling so far [this year] and this weekend has been really good,” said Dupont, when asked to explain his breakthrough success. “But already in the Slovakia Ring [in the previous round] we showed quite good performance here and there, and now we could put everything together and make sure we had a really strong weekend.
“All weekend we were fast, but I really think the most thing is when you see the work the team has done during the summer break. All four cars are very strong now and everybody is scoring points. That’s really the key. Now we can work and move forward. I’m really thankful for that because it makes a big difference now.”
Comtoyou enjoyed its best race weekend of the season so far in Ningbo, with all four cars finishing in the top nine positions in Race 3. Behind Dupont, Frédéric Vervisch claimed a brilliant fourth place after passing both Rob Huff and Norbert Michelisz. Nathanaël Berthon and Aurélien Panis completed the result in P8 and P9 respectively.