From Clio Cup to Megane Trophy
Invited by Renault Sport Technologies, winners of national Clio Cup championships from several countries tested New Megane Trophy today, on the much appreciated Motorland Aragon circuit. But the best performance came from a driver already familiar with Eurocup Megane Trophy, Nick Catsburg (TDS Racing). In today's ranking, he was followed by Clio Cup UK winner Phil Glew (Equipe Verschuur), and Nicolas Milan (TDS Racing), winner of the French Clio Cup.
With the season hardly over, the Eurocup Megane Trophy teams are already getting to work in preparation for 2010. Conditions were summer-like at Motorland Aragon for today's collective testing. Winners of national Clio Cup championships from several countries took advantage of Renault Sport Technologies' invitation to discover New Megane Trophy on the Motorland track. From the off, it was a driver who already has plenty of experience in Eurocup Megane Trophy who lit up the session.
Nick Catsburg, behind the wheel of a TDS Racing car, put in the best performance with a lap time of 2'04''587, better than his own time in qualifying this weekend. At the end of the session, he upped the tempo to return a 2'03''477 lap. Phil Glew, Clio Cup UK 2009 champion, also showed himself at ease behind the wheel of Equipe Verschuur's New Megane Trophy. He lay in second place for part of the morning session, ahead of Gonzalo Martin de Andres (Team Lompech Sport), winner of the Spanish Clio Cup championship. The drivers notched up as many laps as they could this morning, familiarizing with the car and opening the throttle up little-by-little. Nick Castburg not surprisingly -- fared best and finished the morning at the -- top of the timing charts, ahead of Phil Glew and Stian Paulsen (Equipe Verschuur).
Nick Castburg was dominant again in the afternoon. The Dutchman took full advantage of perfect track conditions to claim a brilliant laptime of 2'02''306. Phil Glew underlined his great start too, coming pretty close to Catsburg. Clocking 2'03''326, the British driver displayed impressive assurance and completed the day in second place, ahead of Frenchman Nicolas Milan and Spaniard Gonzalo Martine de Andres.
Nick Catsburg: "I discovered a new team today and I tried to measure the differences between the car I've been driving this season and the TDS Racing car. We worked well together. I'll still be competing in the Eurocup Megane Trophy in 2010, but I don't know which team I'll be in yet."
Phil Glew: "I managed to get into a good tempo from the outset, and the team seems satisfied. I've done some Clio, some GT and a little bit of single-seater competition, but I must say that the New Megane Trophy is really much faster than anything I've driven and more impressive too. The gear shift on the steering wheel is fantastic, really effective. We're working on several options for next year, but Eurocup Megane Trophy is very much part of my plan now for 2010. I hope to do more testing this winter."
Nicolas Milan: "It's the first time I've driven a rear-wheel drive, so I was really cautious today. A big learning curve this morning, and this afternoon I tried to up the pace a little bit. It was a very interesting day. After three hours' track testing, I'm more tired than after five Clio races! I'm working to build a Eurocup Megane Trophy programme for 2010."
Gonzalo Martine de Andres: "The car is fantastic, very different from the Clio Cup, especially on a circuit as fine as Motorland Aragon. This track is just perfect for a car like this. I felt good at the wheel of this car today, I loved it."
Romain Troonbeeckx: "The car is really fun to drive. I have been impressed by the grip and the braking. The Eurocup Megane Trophy could interest me in the years to come, but right now my studies are my number one priority. So I'm not too sure how much time I'll be able to devote to racing in 2010."
Raffaele Bruzzo: "The first few laps are very impressive in this car! I'd like to thank Renault Sport Technologies for this invitation, it's been an incredible experience. I made a bit of a mistake this morning, so I couldn't do a lot of driving, but this afternoon was much better. We're going to take a good look at the situation. Eurocup Megane Trophy really is a discipline that attracts me for next season".