EU Megane: Estoril preview

Triple race bill in Estoril! The Estoril meeting looks like being a key weekend for the Eurocup Megane Trophy competitors, with three races scheduled for the Portuguese round of the World Series by Renault. Leader since the first race of ...

Triple race bill in Estoril!

The Estoril meeting looks like being a key weekend for the Eurocup Megane Trophy competitors, with three races scheduled for the Portuguese round of the World Series by Renault. Leader since the first race of the season, Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) could be crowned champion if he produces a clean sweep of race wins.

One thing is for sure there is precious little chance that any of Eurocup Megane Trophy drivers and teams will get bored at this weekend's meeting. As the races in Zolder did not count towards the overall standings, Renault Sport has decided to add a third race to the Estoril meeting's schedule.

With a total of 51 points up for grabs over the weekend, this penultimate meeting of the season could prove to be decisive. To secure victory in the championship before the last meeting, Jan Heylen must come away from Estoril with a 34-point lead over Renaud Derlot (TP Competition). Currently, his lead is 33. Which means that taking the title in Portugal is well within the grasp of the Belgian driver, who can control proceedings and work out his strategy based that of his rival.

For Derlot, who has not won since Le Mans, podium finishes will not be enough if he wants to head for the final weekend in Monza with any hopes of fighting for the title. The points awarded for pole positions and for the quickest race laps may well become highly significant!

After an excellent performance in Donington, Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing) moved from sixth to third place in the Eurocup standings. But the Frenchman's position is fragile: he is only two points ahead of Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry Boutsen Racing), who has often been short on luck this season. The Belgian driver will however be keen to celebrate his 28th birthday on Saturday appropriately, by winning again, if possible!

A few points back, the Italian Nicola Gianniberti (Oregon Team) and Portuguese driver Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium) are also in with a chance of finishing the season in third place overall. Campanico will be able to count on the unconditional support of the home crowd. After his win in Oschersleben, the former European Karting Champion will only have one objective in mind: hear his national anthem, "A Portuguesa", resound from the podium!

Mathematically speaking, Badey, Van Hooydonk, Gianniberti and Campanico are not yet out of the title race. But Heylen and Derlot would need to encounter some extraordinarily bad luck for the situation to be turned around.

Also looking to get on to the podium, Angel Burgueño (Epsilon Euskadi), Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing), Frederic Gabillon (Team Lompech Sport) and Simon Abadie (Tech 1 Racing) will have three good opportunities to do just that.

In the Junior standings, Swiss driver Marc Benz (Iris Racing) made himself favourite for the title by winning both races at Donington. He stretched his lead over three French drivers: Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing), Mike Parisy (Gemo Sport) and Sebastien Dhouailly (Team Lompech Sport). The talented Pedro Petiz (Oregon Team) will attempt to get back to winning ways on home soil. He can be proud of the fact that he is the only Junior to have made it onto the podium in the main championship!

These young drivers will be joined by Mathieu Cheruy (Pouchelon Racing), previously in the French Clio Cup. Another new face will be the journalist Paul Van Splunteren, who will line up alongside Bernhard Ten Brinke in the Verschuur team.

-renault-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Thierry Boutsen , Jan Heylen , Cesar Campanico , Renaud Derlot , Ludovic Badey , Sebastien Dhouailly , Nicola Gianniberti , Simon Abadie , Renaud Kuppens , Marc Benz , Pedro Petiz , Frédéric Gabillon , Angel Burgueño , Paul Van Splunteren , Matthieu Lahaye , Mike Parisy