Lahaye jumping for joy! Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) took his second victory of the weekend after a thrilling duel with Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur). Without a doubt, the Eurocup is going to go one of these two talented drivers! Franck...
Lahaye jumping for joy!
Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) took his second victory of the weekend after a thrilling duel with Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur). Without a doubt, the Eurocup is going to go one of these two talented drivers! Franck Mailleux (TDS) will be satisfied to conclude his first weekend in the Eurocup Megane Trophy with a podium finish. In total, more than 90,000 fans attended the UK round of the World Series by Renault.
Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon Euskadi) was a little bit early off the start, but Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) managed to hold him off on the brakes into the opening corner to retain the lead. Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur) took advantage of the situation to move through into second position, while Franck Mailleux (TDS) moved up into fourth. Bruce Lorgere-Roux unfortunately crashed out before the first lap was even over.
At the end of lap two, the safety car then had to come out for the first time this weekend to allow the race marshals to clear Pascal Ballay's Megane (Energy Racing) from the track.
Lahaye, Van Lagen, Dayraut and Mailleux were followed by Bernard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur), Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium), Pedro Petiz (Iris Racing), Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance), Miguel Freitas (Racing for Belgium) and Steve Abold (Roma team Baumgartner).
Racing resumed at the end of lap four. Lahaye only managed to move clear when Dayraut and Van Lagen got caught up in an energetic confrontation on the main straight! It was Dayraut who got the upper hand over Van Lagen. At the same time, Ten Brinke lost two places to Campanico and Petiz.
Jean-Philippe Dayraut then picked up a drive-through' penalty for having jumped the start. This came just as Jaap Van Lagen had got back past him.
In the main field, there was plenty of action with spins from both Massimiliano Fantini (Oregon Team) and Sebastien Dhouailly (Thierry Boutsen Racing), who had been busy fighting it out with Andreas Mayerl (Sesterheim Racing) and several others.
After having served his penalty, Dayraut came back out in ninth position. Meanwhile, Jaap Van Lagen was piling on the pressure to try and take the lead away from Matthieu Lahaye. A few seconds back, Mailleux must have been breathing a sigh of relief when he saw Campanico and Petiz collide.
Van Lagen finally found a way through on lap thirteen of fifteen. But Lahaye was not to be silenced and the two front-runners were racing side-by-side for quite some time! Van Lagen then made only the slightest error on the penultimate lap but it was all Lahaye needed. The Frenchman then held his own on the final lap to take his second win of the weekend! In the end, Bernhard Ten Brinke finished fourth, his best result so far in the Eurocup, after an intense battle with Ralph Meichtry decided by a gap of 115/1000ths at the line!
Matthieu Lahaye: "It was a very hotly contested race! I think that Jaap was faster than me and he didn't make things easy. I can't wait for Le Mans. I'll be on home territory and its my favourite circuit."
Jaap Van Lagen: "I fought very hard but I can't say I'm satisfied with second place. I made a mistake, but it's still a good result towards the Eurocup standings."
Franck Mailleux: "This weekend was something that little bit special with two FR 2.0 races and two Megane races. I'm almost surprised to find myself on the podium. It hasn't taken me as long as I expected to adjust to the car."