Grégoire Demoustier continued to show good form during the Japanese round of the WTCC, which was held at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit. Taking on a brand new track once again, Demoustier went all out during his qualifying session, only just missing out on the second session by the smallest of margins. During his race one charge, the Craft-Bamboo driver displayed some great overtaking maneuvers and was able to finish the race fourth in the independent category and P12 overall. After a great start from Demoustier in race two, contact forced the young gun down the order but he was able to find his feet and regain some positions to secure seventh in the independent class and P13 overall.
Demoustier began the race from P12 and made a smooth start, following the grid into the first corner without incident. After jostling for position, Demoustier settled into his challenge and simultaneously defended from independent rival, John Filippi, while mounting his attack on the Ladas ahead.
By the fourth lap, Demoustier had caught up and made a daring move up the inside to pass both cars in only one corner but he wasn’t able to make the move stick. Not giving up, the French touring car rookie continued with his charge and focused on closing the gap between him and the competition.
Demoustier was back up to P12 by lap six and was doing all he could to catch, Nicolas Lapierre, who was in front. Showing good pace among the independent drivers, Demoustier continued his chase right until the end crossing the line in P12 overall and adding five more points to his Yokohama drivers’ trophy collection by finishing P4 in the independent category. “The race was ok, the start wasn’t bad but I was a little late,” says Gregoire. “The pace was ok, I was happy with the chassis and brakes so there were a lot of positives. It could be better but I think we need some luck for the coming races.”
Race One Results
1. Jose Maria Lopez ARG 13 laps
2. Norbert Michelisz HUN
3. Gabriele Tarquini ITA
4. Ma Qing Hua CHN
5. Yvan Muller FRA
12. Grégoire Demoustier FRA Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet Cruze
Starting from P14 this time, Demoustier made one of the best starts of the year but was unfortunately hit in the rear, causing him to lose several places before regrouping and going on the offensive. Demoustier fought back and by lap five was back up to P14; rising to the challenge and chasing down those ahead. His efforts did not go unrewarded, gaining two more positions by lap eight and moving into P12.
Taking a defensive role towards the final stage of the race, Demoustier showed great skill in his ability to keep the competition at bay. After an intense battle, Demoustier finished the race P13 overall and seventh amongst the independent drivers, which was good enough to secure another two Yokohama drivers’ points and keep Demoustier firmly in the competition.
Craft-Bamboo Racign CEO Richard Coleman had positive words about the team and the weekend, saying “Greg showed that he is continually improving, coming away with a good haul of independents’ points once again in Japan. The team did a really great job with the car this weekend and everything ran smoothly; we are now looking forward to the next round in Shanghai in two weeks where our GT Asia team will also be competing.”
Race Two Results
1. Tiago Monteiro PRT 13 Laps
2. Hugo Valente FRA
3. Rob Huff GBR
4. Sébastien Loeb FRA
5. Ma Qing Hua CHN
13. Grégoire Demoustier FRA Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet Cruze