PEUGEOT SPORT RISES TO THE CHALLENGE OF SPA 500
PEUGEOT 308TCR - TCR Series / Spa 500 - October 4-6
Peugeot Sport will underline its commitment to the TCR touring car formula by contesting the brand new endurance race in Europe – the Spa 500 in Belgium – with a line-up including drivers that have grown up through the ranks of its famous promotional formulas. Julien Briché, Teddy Clairet and Aurelien Comte will all drive a single Peugeot 308TCR entry on the 500-lap event, which takes place from October 4-6.
Peugeot Sport’s engineers have developed a special endurance version of the Peugeot 308TCR to cope with the challenge posed by the Spa 500. The circuit has a long tradition of endurance racing and touring car racing, making it the perfect venue to showcase the latest generation of the 308TCR.
Julien Briché, Teddy Clairet and Aurélien Comte are all stars of Peugeot Sport’s promotional championships. Julien Briché is the 2017 308 Racing Cup champion (he won at Spa-Francorchamps in TCR Europe in 2018 and 2019) - he is third of the 2019 TCR Europe overall classification. Teddy Clairet is the 2018 308 Racing Cup champion and currently a Peugeot Sport factory driver. Aurélien Comte was competing in the WTCR last year, he has claimed two wins. All of them are familiar with the Peugeot 308TCR through the TCR Europe championship.
DG Sport has a perfect knowledge of the 308TCR with one year of exploitation in WTCR, now in TCR Europe with Aurélien Comte and a well known experience in endurance races. The association of experts of touring cars races and passionated staff and driver for challenges promise an exciting experience -the first one in endurance for the efficient Peugeot 308TCR.
Organised by WSC: the company behind the TCR concept that has revitalised touring car racing throughout the world, in collaboration with Dutch promoter Creventic - Peugeot Sport will take up the challenge with his Promotional formula dream team and the operational support of DG Sport Competition - local team and Peugeot Sport’s distributor for Benelux.
Just as is the case at the famous Spa 24 Hours – which was last won by Peugeot back in 2000 with the 306GTI – there will be an eye-catching parade of all the competing cars on Thursday prior to the race, which will be driven in convoy to Malmedy town centre. There, the drivers will take part in an autograph session forming part of a wider pre-race festival. Six participating brands are confirmed so far, including Peugeot, with more expected to be added in the coming days. A minimum of 40 entries is expected for this new Belgian race.
The rollercoaster layout of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit makes it well-known as a phenomenal challenge for drivers and cars, thanks to breath-taking sequences such as Eau Rouge-Raidillon, where the drivers experience both positive and negative g-forces in just a handful of seconds.
Another characteristic of the track is its variable weather, with anything and everything from bright sunshine to intense rain a possibility. Often, it can be raining hard on one part of the track yet completely dry on another, while extreme weather has even led to race stoppages in the recent past. With Belgium in the grip of autumn by the time the race comes round, adverse conditions are almost to be expected.
RACE TRACK DATAS
Date of creation: 1921
Corners: 19 (9 right / 10 left)
Length: 7,004 km
THE SPA 500 RACE
The race is expected to cover a maximum of 23 hours from 17:00 on Saturday 5 October: adding night racing to the extensive repertoire of the Peugeot 308TCR. Before then, there will be two practice sessions on Friday, including a two-hour night practice session, and one hour of qualifying on Saturday morning.
Thursday, 3 october
09:00 - 12:00: Unofficial private test
16:00: Parade Start from circuit to Malmedy city
17:00: Driver Autograph Session in Malmedy city centre
19:00: Parade Start from Malmedy city to circuit
Friday, 4 october
13:55 - 15:55: Free practice
19:00 - 21:00: Night practice
Saturday, 5 october
09:00 - 10:00: Qualifying
17:00: Start race
Sunday, 6 october
17:00: Finish race - Podium
Francois Wales, Peugeot Sport Director:
“As soon as we heard about the creation of this fantastic race, at a venue that has been synonymous for so long with touring car endurance racing, we knew we had to take part. Having been involved in TCR from the start, this is now probably the most high-profile event we will take part in with the Peugeot 308TCR, with the chance to fight for overall victory at the headlining race of the weekend. We’re delighted to field a number of talented French drivers that we have brought up through the ranks of our promotional championships, underlining the way in which Peugeot Sport’s ladder of talent can take drivers from the grass roots all the way to the very top of touring car racing. We are fully aware of the scale of the challenge that is on our hands though, so the team will be investing a lot of time to prepare the car and the drivers for the epic task that they are soon taking on. With the extensive opportunities for promotion taking place around the race, this is a perfect chance to highlight our company’s involvement in motorsport and customer racing.”
Teddy Clairet - Driver
“This is one of the most incredible chances that I have been handed in my career, and I’m determined to make the most of it. The Spa 500 is an exciting prospect. The race will be longer than I have been used to, and anything can happen. So it will be essential to keep fit and calm in order to react to all the changing circumstances of the race. I’ve no doubt that the level of opposition will be very high and that there will be a number of unknown factors to deal with, although we have the advantage of having already raced at Spa this year. I just can’t wait to get started though, on an event that will be very significant for me and my team mates, for Peugeot, and for TCR as a whole.”
Julien Briché - Driver
“It’s a huge honour and really exciting prospect to be taking part with Peugeot Sport in what is sure to be an absolutely legendary race. It’s going to contain a bit of everything, on one of the most challenging and exhilarating tracks in Europe. I won two times in TCR Europe at Spa, in 2018 and 2019. Teamwork is going to be massively important, and we’ll be practising working together as a team before the start of the race weekend. We know we can rely on the ample capabilities of our Peugeot 308TCR, which is a car that we are all very familiar with now. Its combination of performance and reliability will be instrumental to our goal of gaining a good result.”
Aurélien Comte - Driver
“The Spa 500 carries on the huge heritage of touring car racing at one of my favourite circuits, which I am sure is the case for many drivers. It’s going to be a very different experience and driving style to anything that we have seen before, but I hope to use my knowledge of the WTCR to maximise our chances. We have the good fortune to have an excellent car and my team mates are excellent also. We all have a lot of experience of the ‘sprint’ version of the 308TCR and now we’re looking forward to discovering the ‘endurance’ version as well. So we have everything in place to try and achieve our goals. We will have the support of DG Sport, my team since last year in WTCR and now in TCR Europe. I know it's a very good choice to raise a good result.”
CONTENT & SOCIAL MEDIA
Follow Peugeot Sport on social media:
- Copyright-free images for editorial use TCR Europe and 308TCR: https://bit.ly/2IZiY8A ©PEUGEOT SPORT / Flavien Duhamel