Showdown in England After dominating the start of the season, Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) saw his lead seriously eaten into by Renaud Derlot (TP Competition) at Oschersleben. The Franco-Belgian duel between the top two drivers will approach...
Showdown in England
After dominating the start of the season, Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) saw his lead seriously eaten into by Renaud Derlot (TP Competition) at Oschersleben. The Franco-Belgian duel between the top two drivers will approach its climax on British soil, particularly since a dozen or so other drivers will also be looking to have their say!
Winner of four out of the first five races, Jan Heylen was invincible in Valencia, Le Mans and Bilbao. But in Oschersleben, the friendly Belgian driver was off the pace. After a difficult first race, he appeared to be on course to win the second race, but he blew his chance of victory after picking up a stop-and-go penalty. Despite this, Heylen still leads the Eurocup Megane Trophy going into the Donington weekend and he fully intends to stay there!
With only has one victory to his name so far this year, Renaud Derlot's second place overall is in fact down to an impressive run of podium finishes: four times as runner-up and once in third place! Fifteen points adrift of the leader, TP Competition's top driver cannot afford to waste any more time in closing the gap that was opened in Bilbao.
Thanks to their greater consistency, the top two have built up a comfortable lead over the group of four drivers who are also regularly in contention. Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium) and Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry Boutsen Racing) both experienced the joys of victory in Oschersleben. Their goal is a simple one: do it again!
Nicola Gianniberti (Oregon Team) and Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing) have both been close to taking their first win. Their run of bad luck cannot surely go on forever and it would not be surprising if one, or both, of them were to win this weekend.
For these four drivers, their situation in the overall standings is far from hopeless. Unlike Heylen and Derlot, they have already used up their two "jokers" (having already picked up at least two no-scoring results) and will therefore not need to discount any other results at the end of the season. But they cannot afford any more slip-ups!
Seventh overall, Angel Burgueño will be driving from now onwards for Epsilon Euskadi where he replaces Jean-Christophe Ravier, who has decided to bring his season to a close. It remains to be seen who will join Luis Miguel Reyes, hit by very bad luck since the start of the season, at Team Elias.
Level on points with Burgueño, Frederic Gabillon (Team Lompech Sport) rediscovered form in Oschersleben that was more in line with his talent. Now that he seems to have broken his run of bad luck, the Frenchman should be able to get closer to the podium! A goal shared by both Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing) and Simon Abadie (Tech 1 Racing).
As for the "race within the race", the Junior championship is proving to be exciting, with five drivers separated by just 25 points! Honours were even for Marc Benz (Iris Racing) and Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) in Oschersleben, each recording a win and a runner's-up spot. The Swiss driver therefore maintains a seven-point lead over his French rival.
But Mike Parisy (Gemo Sport), Sebastien Dhouailly (Team Lompech Sport) and Pedro Petiz (Oregon Team) are just behind, waiting to pounce. Missing in Valencia, Jiri Janak (Auto Janak) is not yet out of the running and is closing up on the others race by race.