Stefano Comini was pleased to relinquish his TCR International Series title with a victory in Dubai, after the two-time champion endured what he called a ‘hard season’ in the Comtoyou Racing Audi.
Comini, who took the 2015 and 2016 TCR titles, had been in with a slim outside shot at the title heading into the final weekend of the season.
But the Swiss racers hopes evaporated quickly, as expected, in race one where he finished seventh, with his main focus being on race two.
In the final race of the year, from second on the grid, Comini was able to assume the lead after early leader Attila Tassi was handed a drive-through penalty for a jump start, finishing off with his third victory of the year en route to third overall in the drivers’ championship.
“It was a hard season for us, it was not easy,” admitted Comini. “I am happy to finish like this for sure. If the car had been like this before [in the year] then I’m sure we could have finished better, but it’s like this, it’s motorsport, and I am happy we have improved the car.
“The BoP [Balance of Performance] helped us in this race, and I really felt the reduction of 20 kg as the car handled better.
“There is still some work to do to make the Audi really competitive. Now I think it’s a great base to work on for next year.
“I don’t know how many months it has been since I was on top of the podium, so it’s good and I’m really happy for Comtoyou Racing. You have to remember that they have given me the opportunity to be here this year, only two weeks before the start of the season.
“We did a massive job with this little big family from Comtoyou and now I am happy with Audi too.”
In the end Comini missed out on the runner-up position in the standings by just one point, but the 27-year-old did not dwell on the issue.
“I’m not disappointed [to be second in the championship] because second is the first of the losers! I’m happy to be on the podium of the championship – it’s good for me, it’s good for Comtoyou and I hope next year it will be better.”
Comini also hinted that he is already thinking about 2017, having already started his training programme, with the results evident in his physique in Dubai already.
“I will work very hard in the winter to return stronger next year. I am a little different since China and this is a little preview of the Stefano Comini of next year.”