Pantano on the wet, Verschuur on the dry Eurocup Megane Trophy drivers were out on the Silverstone track today for collective test sessions in wet and then dry conditions. Giorgio Pantano (Oregon Team) was the man to beat in the rain this...
Pantano on the wet, Verschuur on the dry
Eurocup Megane Trophy drivers were out on the Silverstone track today for collective test sessions in wet and then dry conditions. Giorgio Pantano (Oregon Team) was the man to beat in the rain this morning. In the afternoon, on the dry, Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) took over, ahead of trusty rivals Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing) and Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing).
At Silverstone today, just before the first collective testing session got underway, the formula Eurocup Megane Trophy drivers were treated to a minor downpour. So everyone took to the track on wet tires to introduce the New Megane Trophy to Silverstone, a mix of quick bends and winding sectors, perhaps presenting the ideal playground for the new car.
The first lap times were recorded on a very wet track. Mike Verschuur proved the most effective early on under these conditions and took the lead in 2'21''697. The racing line gradually dried, enough for lap times to come down, not enough to don the slicks. At the midway point of the session, Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) improved the reference lap time set by his fellow countryman. But Verschuur bounced back straight away and went back to the top of the timing sheet. Another Dutchman proceeded to take the limelight. Nick Catsburg (Tech 1 Racing) grabbed first place after clocking a 2'16''038 lap.
But it was Giorgio Pantano who had the final word of the morning. The Italian driver, already a winner here in GP2 last season, finished the morning at the top of the leaderboard, timed in at 2'15''817. Behind him the order read Nick Catsburg, Mike Verschuur and, in fourth, the surprising Pierre Thiriet (TDS Racing), once again very much at ease in the wet.
By the afternoon, the track had dried out, conditions were much improved and the pecking order changed. Mike Verschuur, Jonathan Hirschi and Dimitri Enjalbert, the three men very much in form so far this season, were back at the top of the leaderboard. Jonathan Hirschi was the first of the three to up the stakes. The Swiss driver was soon relayed at the top of the timing sheets by Dimitri Enjalbert. However, by the end of the session, it was Mike Verschuur, lapping in 1'54''651, who drove the fastest lap of the day. Despite today being his maiden session out on track at Silverstone, the Dutch driver handled the situation faultlessly. He finished ahead of Enjalbert and Hirschi. Bernhard Ten Brinke took the fourth time, just ahead of Giorgio Pantano.
Giorgio Pantano: "The session this morning went very well in the wet. I know the track, I like it and I've already won here. The car behaves well in wet conditions. This afternoon we were a little less happy with the set-up. We tried something that isn't working really too well, but it was important to understand the car a bit better. The guys ahead are going real quick, but I believe we can make good progress."Mike Verschuur: "It's my first time out on the track here, so being ahead is perfect. It wasn't easy to discover the track in the rain this morning, I'm glad the weather was better in the afternoon. We have a good set-up, we're ready."
Nick Catsburg: "This is the first time I've driven on this circuit, and it was a little unlucky to have to get familiar with it on the wet. The first sector is incredible, it's really fast and impressive. I love it. The technical sector is less fun. I'm satisfied with my times, I'm on the pace and that should set me up for a good weekend. In Hungary I discovered the joy of finishing on the podium, so now I want more!"