Aurélien Comte happy with points lead but not car speed at the Salzburgring

Aurélien Comte happy with points lead but not car speed at the Salzburgring

Aurélien Comte leaves the Salzburgring with a clear lead in the drivers’ championship over his CUPRA rival Franco Girolami, albeit just a single point with three race meetings left in the 2024 calendar, but with a fourth and a third in Austria, the Frenchman is concerned about his pace at the weekend.


Comte managed to qualify in fifth position in his SP Compétition-run CUPRA Leon VZ TCR, and made up just one position in the wet-to-dry first race, battling with but failing to find a way past the ALM Honda of Ruben Volt, who was carrying an additional 10kg of ballast than him this weekend.


Comte scored key points with fourth however, while in Race 2 after a bad start, he was recovering ground and running fourth behind team-mate Giovanni Scamardi when he was joined by arch rival Franco Girolami, with the Argentinian pushing him hard to find a way past.

The two drivers made light contact at the Turn 1 chicane shortly before the red flag, with Girolami cutting the track and rejoining behind Comte, while after the restart, Girolami had another attempt to get past Comte, diving down the inside into the challenging first chicane, forcing Comte to cut the corner in avoidance, while a misjudgement from Girolami saw him hit the barrier and fall to the back.


Girolami’s error paid off for Comte, who was able to overtake team-mate Scamardi for the final podium spot, and assume a one-point lead in the drivers’ standings heading to Spa-Francorchamps.


“My start was very bad again, and it was a difficult fight with Franco,” said Comte.


“I’m not happy with my pace, because I think we have a problem with straight line speed, so we’ll check with the guys.”


On the incident with Comte, there was no cause for concern, with Comte remarking: “I think for me there was no problem, I just stayed on my line.”


With the lead of the standings, Comte is happy but also knows he’ll carry the same 30kg of compensation weight to the next round, while his closest rival will be even lighter at the high-speed Belgian circuit.


“It’s good to lead the championship, but it’s also not good as for Spa we’ll take success ballast, and I know for Spa this isn’t good. And now that we’re in first, we need to focus on our issues with the car.”

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