TCR SPA 500: PEUGEOT 308TCR-ENDURANCE SCORES SILVERWARE ON WORLD DEBUT
PEUGEOT 308 TCR-Endurance - TCR Spa 500 - 4-6 October 2019, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
PEUGEOT SPORT’s brand new endurance-specification Peugeot 308TCR has scored a podium finish in its first ever endurance race, finishing second overall in the brand new TCR Spa 500 race in Belgium. The all-French DG Sport Compétition crew of Julien Briché, Aurélien Comte and Teddy Clairet – all three drivers from PEUGEOT SPORT’s “Promotion Formula” racing programme, raced for a total of 23 hours – during which their Peugeot 308TCR-Endurance demonstrated flawless reliability in its first ever endurance event.
It was a brand new experience for both the drivers and engineers against a field with plenty of experience in similar events. But the Peugeot 308TCR-Endurance showed its strength on its very first long-distance race, finishing second on both the car and team’s first TCR endurance event.
One of the primary reasons for the 308TCR-Endurance’s immediate success was its reliability. Julien Briché, Aurélien Comte and Teddy Clairet completed 449 trouble-free laps until reaching the mandatory 23 hour race time limit.
It was also the fastest car in terms of outright performance: Aurélien Comte set the three fastest laps of the race in his opening stint with the Peugeot 308TCR-Endurance, setting a 2m34.616s.
Only a succession of code 60 procedure early in the race stopped the trio for competing for victory, climbing from eighth to second by 2am and staying there to the chequered flag.
DG Sport Compétition’s entry was the only one with three drivers sharing the full workload: every other team fielded at least four drivers, once again demonstrating the Peugeot 308TCR-Endurance’s usability.
The new endurance-spec 308TCR was exposed to a full spectrum of conditions at Spa-Francorchamps: in the dry, it was battling for the lead at the start, and when the weather turned extremely wet in trademark Spa fashion, it remained fast and reliable.
The new endurance kit’s design was validated as a success in race trim, and will soon be available for purchase by 308 TCR customers in the coming weeks.
A second Peugeot was on the podium at the brand new TCR Spa 500 event. Burton Racing scored victory the Am category and finished sixth overall with their customer 308TCR.
WHAT THEY SAID...
François Wales – PEUGEOT SPORT Director
“The most important aspect of winning an endurance race is achieving reliability without compromising performance, which was the priority when developing the new endurance package for the Peugeot 308TCR. Second place on the first ever endurance race for the new car is a fantastic result and shows the skill of everyone involved: from the engineers with years of experience across long-distance motorsports like Le Mans, Dakar and rallying that developed the upgrade, to the DG Sport Compétition operations crew and best PEUGEOT SPORT drivers from our ’Promotion Formula’. The only car that finished ahead of us on our first attempt fielded two WTCR drivers and had plenty of experience running their car in 24H Series, so to arrive and score this result at the very first attempt shows how immediately competitive the new 308TCR-Endurance really is.”
Julien BRICHÉ - Pilote Peugeot 308TCR #308 - Team DG Sport – 2nd place:
“It was a great experience working with the team and with my two co-drivers, Aurélien and Teddy. We had a really good week; it was great! However, there was a little bit of a bitter taste finishing second. All three of us would have preferred to win this race. We share the same philosophy: we drive to win. But we finished the race on the podium without making a mistake. The whole team really worked very well. I think we missed a bit of luck with the Code 60 near the start of the race. Looking at the race from 2am onwards, once when we had retaken second place, we kept the gap the same to the leaders until the finish. It's a shame because I think we had a clear chance of victory and it would have been a really big fight on the track, like a sprint race. Overall I'm really happy for the entire team with our debut and the first race of the Peugeot 308TCR-Endurance. What I’ll remember from this weekend is that we were a tight group and we all had the same goal here, so we will get there…”
Aurélien COMTE - Pilote Peugeot 308TCR #308 - Team DG Sport - 2nd place:
"It's a good result for the first endurance race of the 308TCR and we did really well. The car did not have any technical problems despite Spa-Francorchamps being a very demanding circuit in terms of engine, with really specialised conditions, so finishing second is really quite good. I think we all wanted to win, we had a strong hand, but that’s racing, it can be like that sometimes. We can be satisfied with this result; it’s a good start for the 308TCR in its endurance configuration. I hope we’ll have more events like this so we can take revenge! I will leave here remembering coming over the top of Raidillon at night. No lights, nothing, it's a total wall. It’s something that adds to the challenge of an already difficult circuit."
Teddy CLAIRET - Pilote Peugeot 308TCR #308 - Team DG Sport - 2nd place:
“I’m very happy. There were many unknowns before this race. First of which was us, the drivers, because we had not done much endurance racing. Yet we did not make any mistakes; it went pretty well on the track. The car had no mechanical issues so the race was still a real highlight. We were a bit unlucky with how the strategy panned out but there’s no-one to blame for that; to me, there are only positives to take from this race. It was really a good experience and I’m happy with the result. The three of us did triple-stints, so we spent more than three hours in the car at a time, which I had not expected! As always Spa-Francorchamps provided challenging conditions, and there are always something to learn in those situations. It was very good experience, especially sharing the car with two fast drivers; that helped me up my game.”
Caren BURTON - Pilote Peugeot 308TCR #46 - Team Burton Racing – 1st place in AM (6th overall) :
"This was the first circuit race we’ve ever done, having always done rallies before now. We have won rallies with Craig Breen, Stephane Lefebvre, François Duval...We had good friends who wanted us to participate in this race. We always want to do better but everyone had fun, everyone is happy and we got to the finish. This is also our first victory, as we won the amateur category. The main thing was to just get to the finish line. Every time we were running fourth, things were starting to go wrong, so in the end we remained in sixth. This same car will race for the last BGDC race, the Belgian amateur championship, which will take place here at Spa at the end of October. We have contacts who are interested to ride with our 308TCR, so we’ll see what happens. If I could keep only one memory of this weekend, it would be the good relationship and atmosphere with the teams of the PEUGEOT SPORT Customer Competition team. The 308TCR is without a doubt a great car and we are very satisfied with our weekend.”
Christian JUPSIN - DG Sport, Director
“It was a magnificent challenge. When the idea of taking part in the Spa 500 was mentioned, we were of course interested. We are located only 20 minutes away from the circuit and have a real endurance culture, and have competed in the Spa 24 Hours three or four times in the past. Therefore, it was a pleasure to set-up this new adventure but also a real challenge. We worked a lot, both on assembling a professional team but also developing the car. We still have some work to do but we are motivated to win the next edition of this race. The team did a wonderful job and the trio of drivers were also exceptional. They did an brilliant job and didn’t make any mistakes. The whole package was well rounded, so we were in a position to do well. It was a great race:, in the first hour, five cars were together, it was a real race. From a technical point of view, the performance was quite balanced. I hope the race will grow now to have 40 or 50 cars on the starting grid, so we can make the party and the victory even more beautiful!”
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