EU Magane: Hungaroring preview

Junior duo neck-and-neck at the top So far this season, first at Zolder and then at the Nurburgring, Pedro Petiz and Dimitri Enjalbert have picked up race wins or podium finishes at every opportunity. Going into the third meeting of the season,...

Junior duo neck-and-neck at the top

So far this season, first at Zolder and then at the Nurburgring, Pedro Petiz and Dimitri Enjalbert have picked up race wins or podium finishes at every opportunity. Going into the third meeting of the season, the two Tech 1 Racing Juniors already have twice as many points as their nearest challenger, Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance). The battle is far from over, but, on a Hungaroring circuit that is new to everyone, the outsiders will need an immediate change in their fortunes if they are to claw their way back into the title race

It's hardly a surprise to find Pedro Petiz at the top of the Eurocup Megane Trophy standings. In his third season in the category, the Portuguese driver is simply continuing the improvement he made in his first two years: having finished 14th in 2005 and 8th in 2006, claiming his first race win in the process, he is now ready to compete seriously for the title. The Tech 1 Racing team, determined to win all three titles up for grabs this season, has obviously recruited shrewdly.

Just two points behind Pedro, Dimitri Enjalbert is still very much in the hunt. The rookie from Paris was the best Junior in the French Clio Cup last year and has quickly got to grips with his Megane. So far, he has a 100% record, with four podium finishes in as many races. If he keeps it up, such consistency will serve him well in the final reckoning.

Well adrift of the top two, just three points separate the next four drivers. Ralph Meichtry, the only driver outside the top two with a race win to his name, is currently lying in third place, thirty points off the lead. The Swiss driver was brilliant in Belgium, but was off the pace in Germany. He will be looking to return to form in Hungary

Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) has made a disappointing start to the season by his standards and will not be satisfied with his fourth place. Outshone by his teammates thus far, the reigning Junior Champion has yet to rediscover the Midas touch that earned him three race wins and eight podium finishes last year. He showed better form at the Nurburgring, however, and he remains one to watch

Maxime Martin (Boutsen Energy Racing) and Bernhard Ten Brinke (Verschuur Team) are currently level on points in fifth, both having had one good weekend out of two. Martin is determined to notch up the victory that so narrowly escaped him at the Nurburgring. Ten Brinke, meanwhile, will be keen to remain the top-placed driver in the Dutch team.

As action resumes after a long break of almost two months, a number of drivers will want to make amends for a disastrous start to the season, not least Ludovic Badey (TDS) and Carlo van Dam (Racing for Belgium), whose current positions in the championship do not reflect their true potential. Better things are also expected from Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport), Giuseppe Ciro (Oregon Team) and Mike Verschuur (Verschuur Team), who are all capable of making it onto the podium.

The meeting will also see the welcome return to action of two Belgian driver pairings. Renaud Kuppens and Geoffroy Horion will share the driving duties in Boutsen Energy Racing's second Megane, while Vincent Vosse and Gregory Franchi will join forces for the Verschuur team.

In the Junior championship, the battle for third place behind the seemingly unstoppable Petiz and Enjalbert is really hotting up. Matthieu Lahaye and Sebastien Dhouailly are breathing down Maxime Martin's neck, while further down the table, Mathieu Cheruy (TDS), Mike Verschuur and Michael Rossi (Racing for Belgium) are separated by a hair's breadth.

-credit: renault

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Giuseppe Ciro , Ludovic Badey , Sebastien Dhouailly , Renaud Kuppens , Pedro Petiz , Carlo van Dam , Dimitri Enjalbert , Maxime Martin , Geoffroy Horion , Matthieu Lahaye , Bernhard Ten Brinke , Ralph Meichtry , Michael Rossi