Stories of the first WTCR year: EWC team keeps DG on track in Japan
Mato Homola’s fastest time in Free Practice 1 and Aurélien Comte’s First Qualifying best at WTCR JVCKENWOOD Race of Japan owed plenty to their ability and the pace of their DG Sport Compétition PEUGEOT 308TCRs. But a title-winning motorbike team from the FIM Endurance World Championship also played its part.
DG’s cars arrived in Japan via seafreight in need of major repair following crashes at WTCR Race of China-Wuhan.
Eric Nève, the Belgian squad’s Team Manager, takes up the story. “After the big damage the cars suffered in Wuhan, we asked the WTCR promoter [Eurosport Events] for permission to get access to the cars [from the freight containers] earlier [as this was the first time we could work on them] and it was agreed upon.
“There is a collaboration between Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka Circuit and through that we could get access to a garage as of Monday [of race week]. The mechanics started to work immediately on the cars. We flew also a body [shop] worker who did a tremendous job of putting the cars back in shape with a lot of hydraulic pumps. We did a lot of work on the rear end of both cars and also the front leg of Mato’s car, which was bent by more than two centimetres. We worked on the later part of the day Monday, the whole day Tuesday and Wednesday.”
Nève also revealed the key role played by TSR, which won the FIM Endurance World Championship for Teams in 2018 under the F.C.C. TSR Honda France banner.
“We had great collaboration from the local motorcycle team TSR, based 500 metres from Suzuka,” said Nève. “They helped us machining parts, they also helped us to find a paintshop because we flew half a tonne [of parts] from PEUGEOT Sport but the parts were not painted so we had them painted in Japan.
“Without the help from TSR, the circuit, our mechanics, the body worker and the WTCR community, it would have been impossible to be on the grid. We have to thank them because they really helped us out.”
Watch Comte claim the DHL Pole Position in Japan by clicking here. Eurosport Events is the promoter of WTCR and EWC.