EU Megane: Magny-Cours preview

Dayraut back in the pack! An impressive line-up of French drivers will be looking to give Portuguese ace Pedro Petiz (Tech 1 Racing) and Swiss star Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) a run for their money in next weekend's French round of the ...

Dayraut back in the pack!

An impressive line-up of French drivers will be looking to give Portuguese ace Pedro Petiz (Tech 1 Racing) and Swiss star Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) a run for their money in next weekend's French round of the Eurocup Megane Trophy. Can Dimitri Enjalbert, Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing), Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport), Michael Rossi (Racing for Belgium) or Ludovic Badey (TDS) deliver glory to home fans in Nièvre? Could it even be Jean-Philippe Dayraut, who is set to make his comeback with Oregon Team?!

Dominated by Jan Heylen in 2005 and Jaap van Lagen in 2006, the Eurocup Megane Trophy has uncovered a new boss this year: Pedro Petiz. Even when things look decidedly tricky, the quiet Portuguese ace always seems to come out on top. In fact, he has managed to finish on the podium in every race so far this season! Before the Magny-Cours weekend, the Tech 1 Racing driver has a massive 26-point lead over his team-mate Dimitri Enjalbert, who has been just as consistent but who has been hampered by two retirements due to mechanical failures.

Up against the two Juniors from the Toulouse-based team, Ralph Meichtry is more than holding his own. Thanks in part to his team's inspired race strategies, the Swiss driver has already racked up two wins. Although his chances of catching Petiz are somewhat remote, he is undoubtedly very well placed to finish on the final podium.

Meichtry's third place is however coveted by half a dozen drivers who have had a mix fortunes since the start of the season. After getting back to winning ways at Donington Park, Matthieu Lahaye hopes his bad run is behind him. The Rennes driver would now love to secure a third consecutive championship for Tech 1 Racing!

Having missed out in both races at Donington Park, Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport) and Maxime Martin (Boutsen Energy Racing) are both determined to make amends this weekend with a win. There's a good chance that their teams will have been using the week-long break to fine-tune their pit stop strategy for the weekend!

Gregory Franchi (Equipe Verschuur) and Michael Rossi (Racing for Belgium) have already bagged a race win each, but they are quite a way off the pace in the overall standings. They are behind Bernhard Ten Brinke, one of the most consistent drivers in the field, with six points-finishes.

Amongst those hit by bad luck this season, Ludovic Badey (TDS), Carlo van Dam (Racing for Belgium) and Giuseppe Ciro (Oregon Team) are all eager to see the tables turn. The Italian has new team-mate at his side at Oregon, Jean-Philippe Dayraut. Fourth in the 2006 Eurocup with three race wins, the Toulouse driver will complete the season with the Milan-based team.

In the Junior championship, the battle for third place behind the seemingly unstoppable Petiz and Enjalbert is really hotting up. Maxime Martin is a only a few points ahead of Matthieu Lahaye and Sebastien Dhouailly (Tech 1 Racing), Mike Verschuur (Equipe Verschuur), Michael Rossi and Mathieu Cheruy (TDS).

After scoring their first points of the season at Donington, Andreas Mayerl (Sesterheim Racing) and Jean-Charles Miginiac (Team Lompech Sport) will want to do the same in Nièvre. Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS) and Wim Beelen (Equipe Verschuur) will be looking to follow suit!

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Jan Heylen , Giuseppe Ciro , Ludovic Badey , Pedro Petiz , Jean-Charles Miginiac , Dimitri Enjalbert , Jaap van Lagen , Maxime Martin , Jean-Philippe Dayraut , Matthieu Lahaye , Bernhard Ten Brinke , Ralph Meichtry , Michael Rossi , Philippe Ma