Photo: WTCR Media

Frédéric Vervisch surprised after taking his first victory on Macau debut

Comtoyou Racing’s Frédéric Vervisch was both delighted and surprised to achieve his first World Touring Car Cup victory around the streets of Macau, a circuit at which the Belgian has never raced before.

Vervisch drove from third to first in the partially reversed-grid second race, overtaking the Alfa Romeo of Japan race winner Kevin Ceccon and the pole-sitting Honda Civic TCR of two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider to round off a strong last half of the season in his Audi RS 3 LMS.

“When Jean-Karl (Vernay) won on Saturday, I thought a win could be possible – but the difference between me and Jean-Karl is that he’s really experienced here, and I’ve never been here, so I had to build up through the weekend,” said Vervisch to TouringCarTimes.

“You can always go quicker, but if you go off just once, your weekend is more or less finished, so we tried to approach it in a smart way.

“In the end my first win came on a track where I didn’t expect it as it’s the first time here for me, so I’m happy with the weekend.”

The Belgian’s victory at Macau rounded off a strong second half to the season, where he scored more points than any other driver during the last five rounds, to eventually finish ninth in the standings, just 78 points from champion Gabriele Tarquini’s tally.

“I think we lost the championship at the beginning,” said Vervisch. “We were nowhere at the start of the year, and back at Marrakech I made a mistake, but that was my only big mistake of the year. We struggled for pace sometimes, and if you do that you’re always in a bad place or in a bad mix, and we sometimes had some mechanical problems which we solved in the last part of the season, thanks to Comtoyou Racing and thanks to Audi.”