EU Megane: Le Mans qualifying notes

Pole for Gianniberti and Derlot The rain-soaked first qualifying session was dominated by the Oregon Team drivers, with Nicola Gianniberti taking pole ahead of his teammate Pedro Petiz. In the dry however, the leaders of the Eurocup proved ...

Pole for Gianniberti and Derlot

The rain-soaked first qualifying session was dominated by the Oregon Team drivers, with Nicola Gianniberti taking pole ahead of his teammate Pedro Petiz. In the dry however, the leaders of the Eurocup proved unbeatable: Renaud Derlot (TP Competition) and Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) will line up side-by-side tomorrow!

Session 1

A shower hit just before the Megane Trophy drivers took to the track. Both Thierry Boutsen Racing drivers took to the conditions like ducks to water: Renaud Kuppens and Jeffrey Von Hooydonk quickly went fastest. But the Portuguese driver Pedro Petiz (Oregon Team) did not take long to hit back, putting more than 1''5 between himself and his rivals with a lap in 2'01''493! Then, Von Hooydonk moved ahead of Kuppens but remained a respectable distance behind Petiz, who ended his session in the gravel trap. Mathieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) also got things all wrong at one stage but was able to rejoin proceedings. After holding the fourth spot for a long time, Frederic Gabillon (Team Lompech Sport) was passed by Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) at the chequered flag.

When the second series of cars came out onto the track, the rain stopped. But things got off to a bad start for Pascal Ballay (Energy Racing), Mike Parisy (Gemo Sport) and Philippe Mace (TP Competition), who all ended up in the gravel in the opening minutes. Nicola Gianniberti emulated the achievements of his teammate Petiz in the first series by going fastest ahead of Marc Benz (Iris Racing). These two were followed by the French trio of Renaud Derlot (TP Competition), Jean-Christophe Ravier (Epsilon Euskadi) and Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing). Petiz's time was soon beaten by Gianniberti, then by Derlot. By this time the racing line was drying out and it was clear that pole would go the last driver to pass the chequered flag. It was Gianniberti who came out on top with a lap 1'58''384 ahead of Derlot, Badey, Ravier and Benz.

Session 2

The Megane Trophy cars took to the track just after the spectators around the circuit had been treated to a breathtaking demonstration of the Mirage 2000. In the dry, Ludovic Badey reigned supreme in the opening minutes of the session. With a margin of 7/10ths over Nicola Gianniberti, the Frenchman from Lyon was unable to hold off Renaud Derlot, who took pole with a lap in 1'41''332. Jean-Christophe Ravier then put in his bid for pole, ending up placed between Derlot and Badey. Gianniberti and Dhouailly completed the list of the top 5.

After his relatively poor performance in the first session, Jan Heylen was back to top form and dominated the second series. He went qualified ahead of his Racing for Belgium teammate, Cesar Campanico and Mathieu Lahaye from Rennes.

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Thierry Boutsen , Jan Heylen , Cesar Campanico , Renaud Derlot , Jean-Christophe Ravier , Ludovic Badey , Philippe Mace , Nicola Gianniberti , Renaud Kuppens , Marc Benz , Pedro Petiz , Frédéric Gabillon , Pascal Ballay , Matthieu Lahaye