EU Megane: Series Le Mans preview

Mike Verschuur takes up the baton After leading the Eurocup Megane Trophy championship from the very first race, Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing) has for now handed the baton to Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), just as we move into...

Mike Verschuur takes up the baton

After leading the Eurocup Megane Trophy championship from the very first race, Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing) has for now handed the baton to Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), just as we move into the second half of the season. But the man who is turning heads at the moment in this discipline is Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing). After claiming four wins on the trot, the Frenchman is keen to prolong his winning spree in Le Mans, and continue his impressive chase on the two overall leaders.

As we move into the second half of this Eurocup Megane Trophy 2009 season, the tables are turning. Whereas it was Jonathan Hirschi who put his brand on the early part of the season, with three wins in four races, the Swiss driver hasn't shown the same form since Budapest while his rivals have been getting points on the board.

After being out of contention in Barcelona and absent from Spa-Francorchamps, Dimitri Enjalbert is now catching up fast by putting together a series of back-to-back wins. With two successes in Hungary and two more in England, plus two poles, it looks like nothing can stop the French driver. He has scored sixty one points in four races and he has the title back in his sights. However, there's a long road ahead and Mike Verschuur still has a twenty-five point lead.

Even if the Dutch driver has only won one race up to now - at Barcelona - his regularity is making all the difference. Apart from when he had to retire at Spa-Francorchamps, Verschuur has always finished on the podium and has chalked up five second-place finishes. From his newly won position at the head of the Eurocup Megane Trophy overall standings, his goal now of course is to increase his lead. There may be a hitch though, because the McGregor by Equipe Verschuur driver has never driven on the Le Mans circuit, unlike some of his closest rivals. Dimitri Enjalbert, in particular, is very much at home in Le Mans. As an alumni of the FFSA driver development scheme (now with Auto Sport Academy), based inside the confines of the Le Mans circuit, the Parisian knows the track like the back of his hand. In fact, last season he took two pole positions and a win there.

Several outsiders are also liable to mix it with the leaders. Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport), who took his first podium finish of the season in Eurocup Megane Trophy at Silverstone, will also be in his element at Le Mans. As he looks for a first win in this discipline, he will find -- in front of a big crowd expected at this season's Le Mans round -- an ideal setting to go for his long-awaited first win. French drivers Pierre Thiriet (TDS Racing), Matthieu Cheruy (Tech 1 Racing) and Antony Tardieu (Tech 1 Racing) will also be wanting to shine for their home leg.

In the Gentlemen Drivers category, the battle also promises to be fiercely contested. Hoevert Vos (Verschuur Autosport) is closing the gap on Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS Racing) little-by-little. Madonia still has a ten-point lead, but both men should be looking over their shoulders as Jeroen Schothorst (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), Bernard Delhez (Team Lompech Sport) and Jean-Charles Miginiac (Team Lompech Sport) all threaten to get back into contention. These three drivers have all been regular and quick this season. They are all within one point of each other and will be doing their best to move up the standings with their sights on the leading pair.

At Le Mans more than ever, Margot Laffite and Marlène Broggi will be turning heads. The two women share the wheel of one of the cars entered by Boutsen Energy Racing, and are constantly progressing. Without too much pressure on their shoulders, the two Eurocup Megane Trophy women drivers will be looking to score their first points in front of an enthusiastic crowd always ready to lend their support.

-credit: wsr

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Jean-Charles Miginiac , Dimitri Enjalbert , Matthieu Cheruy , Marlène Broggi , Hoevert Vos , Bernard Delhez , Jonathan Hirschi , Jeroen Schothorst , Philippe Ma , Pierre Thiriet
Teams TDS Racing