EU Megane: Series Estoril race one report

Pit stops prove crucial Maxime Martin (Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing) continued his recent run of form today, picking up his sixth win of the season ahead of Dimitri Enjalbert (Tech 1 Racing) and Michael Rossi (TDS). Rossi still leads...

Pit stops prove crucial

Maxime Martin (Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing) continued his recent run of form today, picking up his sixth win of the season ahead of Dimitri Enjalbert (Tech 1 Racing) and Michael Rossi (TDS). Rossi still leads the Eurocup Megane Trophy standings, but Martin is now only three points behind him.

Michael Rossi got off to a flying start, with Maxime Martin second and Fabrice Walfisch (Oregon Team) third having overtaken Dimitri Enjalbert at the start. Enjalbert immediately tried to get back ahead of Walfisch, however, and succeeded on the start/finish straight on lap 3.

Dimitri Enjalbert then pushed hard to make up ground on the leaders, who were locked in battle ahead of him, with Michael Rossi coming under unrelenting pressure from Maxime Martin. There is clearly very little to choose between the Eurocup Megane Trophy's top two. In a bid to take control of his destiny, Michael Rossi opted to make his pit stop early, on lap 7.

Maxime Martin stopped two laps later and rejoined the race in front of Rossi. Enjalbert waited longer still, finally heading to the pits on lap 12. He came out behind Martin and Rossi.

Martin quickly opened up an unassailable lead, storming to his sixth race win of the season. Rossi, meanwhile, was doing his best to hold off Enjalbert. The appearance of the safety car with a quarter of an hour to go, after Rafael Unzurrunzaga (Blue Jumeirah Team) crashed off, changed the situation somewhat.

At the restart, Maxime Martin held his lead and Dimitri Enjalbert overtook Rossi on the bend. Fourth-placed Fabrice Walfisch also attempted to find a way past, but the two men's cars collided and Sebastien Dhouailly (Team Lompech Sport) was briefly gifted third position, before Rossi reclaimed it from him.

And that was how things would finish, with Maxime Martin winning it, Dimitri Enjalbert second and Michael Rossi third. The battle for fifth place went right down to the wire. In the end it was Jonathan Hirschi (Tech 1 Racing) who came out on top, ahead of Fabrice Walfisch and Cesar Campanico (Oregon Team).

This sixth victory puts Maxime Martin just three points behind Michael Rossi in the Eurocup Megane Trophy overall standings. Dimitri Enjalbert's second place, meanwhile, consolidates his third position.

Maxime Martin: "This win is very important. It was the pit stop that turned it. My team was really quick and I came out ahead. From then on I just had to play it safe until the end of the race. I'll have to do the same tomorrow. It's all going to come down to Barcelona."

Dimitri Enjalbert: "I knew before the race that we had a good car. I can't win the championship anymore, so I'm just looking for race wins now. I could have won today but I lost time refueling. I like driving here and my goal is to win tomorrow."

Michael Rossi: "I wasn't able to open up a lead at the start. Then I had a problem with my speed limiter in the pits. It was stuck at 48kph when it's supposed to be set to 57kph! Obviously I'm disappointed with this result. Now I have to focus on tomorrow's race. I have to win."

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Thierry Boutsen , Sebastien Dhouailly , Dimitri Enjalbert , Maxime Martin , Rafael Unzurrunzaga , Michael Rossi , Jonathan Hirschi