WTCR drivers leading and learning on ice
WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO racers Aurélien Panis, Nathanaël Berthon and Aurélien Comte will be back on Trophée Andros duty at the Isola 2000 resort this weekend (11-12 January) with Panis leading the Elite Pro standings.
After two events, the Frenchman – who raced a Comtoyou-run Audi in the inaugural WTCR OSCARO season in 2018 – tops the table on 180 points with Berthon seventh on 143 and Comte (pictured) ninth on 125.
While Panis and Berthon have considerable ice-racing experience, Comte is a Trophée Andros rookie. He told Motorzaj.hu’s Szilvia Magyar how he’s been coping with the change of discipline.
“The cars are really unique, you cannot compare it to any other car,” said Comte, who has swapped his DG Sport Compétition PEUGEOT 308TCR for a PEUGEOT 3008-derived model run from the Pussier Automobiles stable. “These cars are prototypes with four-wheel steering and four-wheel drive. The things we need to pay attention to are the changes in the track that are evolving all the time, at each time we enter the track it’s different.”
Comte, who scored one victory and five seconds on his way to P11 in the final WTCR OSCARO standings in 2018, continued: “But I just couldn’t wait to start [the first event in Val Thorens], but on the other hand I was quite worrying. I was also curious, because I had no earlier knowledge about it.”
At the most recent round in Andorra prior to the Christmas break, Comte endured a tough weekend. His team-mate, Stéphane Ventaja, damaged the engine of the 3008 they share during a collision in the Elite category event, meaning Comte was a non-starter in the super-finale, having qualified second in the super-pole.
“For the second day the team made a strategy for the second qualifying heat and the super pole,” Comte explained. “We sacrificed the first qualifying heat, running with old tyres, so I could learn even better the track for the second qualifying heat we run with good tyres. Benjamin [Riviére, team-mate] advised me and helped me to get even closer to the front of the second qualification. But the engine of the car has been broken after a collision in the race of the Elite category.”
Race-winning WTCR team Comtoyou Racing is running Berthon and Olivier Panis, father of Aurélien, in the Trophée Andros.