EU Megane: Series Le Mans qualifying report

Dimitri Enjalbert makes himself at home! Dimitri Enjalbert (Tech 1 Racing) made his knowledge of the Bugatti circuit count this morning as he earned his first two pole positions of the season, qualifying ahead of the current Eurocup Megane...

Dimitri Enjalbert makes himself at home!

Dimitri Enjalbert (Tech 1 Racing) made his knowledge of the Bugatti circuit count this morning as he earned his first two pole positions of the season, qualifying ahead of the current Eurocup Megane Trophy top two, Maxime Martin (Boutsen Energy Racing) and Michael Rossi (TDS).

The track had dried out completely when the drivers headed out for their 20-minute qualifying session. Championship leader Michael Rossi made an inauspicious start, ending up in the gravel trap on the way out of the Chapelle bend. Fabrice Walfisch (Oregon Team) took advantage of this slip-up to claim the lead ahead of Sebastien Dhouailly (Team Lompech Sport).

Several laps went by before performances really started to improve. The Tech 1 Racing drivers were the first to step up the pace. Dimitri Enjalbert took the lead and Matthieu Cheruy moved into second. The latter was quickly overtaken by Maxime Martin (Boutsen Energy Racing) and Jonathan Hirschi (Tech 1 Racing), but Enjalbert held on to first place with a lap timed at 1'42''698.

Enjalbert was dislodged from provisional pole position by Maxime Martin, but hit back immediately with a time of 1'42''151. At the halfway point, then, Enjalbert was out in front, followed by Maxime Martin, Jonathan Hirschi, Michael Rossi and Fabrice Walfisch.

Martin made several attempts to outdo Enjalbert's efforts, but while the Belgian improved on his best time, he could not do enough to worry Dimitri. The end of the session saw Michael Rossi going all-out to improve his position, and the man from Savoie had some success, reclaiming third spot behind his two closest rivals for the title.

And that was how things stayed, meaning the Eurocup championship top three will line up in reverse order on both start grids. Dimitri Enjalbert takes both pole positions, with Maxime Martin alongside him on the front row and Michael Rossi in third place.

A Eurocup newcomer, Lorenzo Bontempelli (Oregon Team) produced the best performance in the Gentlemen Drivers category.

Dimitri Enjalbert: "I was confident, even though we were starting from scratch this morning with our dry-track setup. I quickly got into the swing of things and was able to drive aggressively on a circuit that I am particularly fond of. Whether it rains or not, I know I'm capable of winning both races."

Maxime Martin: "This was a step into the unknown for us and the setup we went for seemed to work pretty well. The races are long, and grid positions aren't everything, but it's good to be on the front row. I'm also racing in the French Clio Cup this weekend and I think that's probably a disadvantage as the two cars are totally different. I'll have to adjust my approach every time."

Michael Rossi: "I still haven't completely found my bearings. I made a few minor errors which, added together, left me out of the reckoning for pole position. My car is pretty consistent and I think I'll be competitive in the races. I'll need to get a good start and get in front early"

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Sebastien Dhouailly , Dimitri Enjalbert , Maxime Martin , Matthieu Cheruy , Lorenzo Bontempelli , Michael Rossi , Jonathan Hirschi