EU Megane: Misano preview

France-Portugal: Payback time? The Frenchman Ludovic Badey (TDS) comes to Misano with a significant lead over his Portuguese rival Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium). After dominating proceedings in Istanbul, the two look set to continue ...

France-Portugal: Payback time?

The Frenchman Ludovic Badey (TDS) comes to Misano with a significant lead over his Portuguese rival Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium). After dominating proceedings in Istanbul, the two look set to continue their duel in the hot Adriatic sun. But in the Eurocup Megane Trophy, battles rarely turn out be just one-on-one affairs! Others to watch out for are the winners in Zolder, Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur) and Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon Euskadi).

"The champion won't be the driver who wins the most races, but the one who scores the most points!" This sentence not only confirms that Ludovic Badey has read the race regulations properly. It also proves that his strategy is to go for consistency rather than all-out performance. Clearly eager to make the most of the experience he gained in 2005, the young driver from Lyon is the only man to have made it onto the podium four time in four races. One victory, one second and two third places have been enough to place him at the top of the Eurocup standings after Istanbul. With the young TDS team, Ludovic is more determined than ever to take over as the successor to Jan Heylen.

Cesar Campanico however came away from Istanbul with just as many points as Badey. Totally out of luck in Zolder, the Portuguese driver was back to winning ways in Turkey. The Championship-winning Racing for Belgium team is clearly keen to retain its title and is focussing all its efforts on doing just that. But with Badey leading by 14 points, they will need a significant change in fortunes in Misano if they are to achieve their goal.

A few points further back, Jaap Van Lagen and Jean-Philippe Dayraut are not likely to be about to give up either. Jumping back and forth between his Comtec Racing Formula Renault 3.5 and the Verschuur team's Megane, Jaap is trying to maintain a presence on both fronts. For now, he is simply enjoying the opportunity to run in two championships simultaneously! As for Jean-Philippe, after taking no points in Istanbul, he will have to show that he has the capacity to put in a reliable performance to score points and stay with the leading group.

Behind these four, young Matthieu Lahaye is in fifth place in the overall standings and leads the Junior category. The Tech 1 Racing driver was another to put in a poor showing in Istanbul. But as Luigi Ferrara (Oregon Team), James Kirkpatrick (Epsilon Euskadi), Miguel Freitas (Racing for Belgium) and Mathieu Cheruy (Energy Racing) were all unable to make use of this opportunity, he was able to hold onto his lead. Meanwhile, however, Bruce Lorgere-Roux (Tech 1 Racing), Sebastien Dhouailly (Thierry Boutsen Racing) and Pedro Petiz (Iris Racing) are drawing ever closer.

One of the outsiders in with a chance of a podium spot, Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing) will hope to maintain his momentum from Istanbul. It will also be worth watching to see how Swiss driver Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) does, as his form seems to be constantly improving.

The Oregon Team will be out to defend the Italian flag. In addition to Junior driver Luigi Ferrara, who is the reigning Italian F3 Champion, Federico Canevisio's team will also be entering Massimiliano Fantini. After having a difficult time of things in Istanbul, the Milan-based team will be looking to do something special on home territory!

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Thierry Boutsen , Jan Heylen , Cesar Campanico , Ludovic Badey , Renaud Kuppens , Miguel Freitas , Pedro Petiz , Luigi Ferrara , Jean-Philippe Dayraut , Bruce Lorgere-Roux , Matthieu Lahaye