EU Megane: Series Spa Friday test notes

Hirschi lives up to leader role Going into this second round as Eurocup Megane Trophy series leader, there's no mistaking Jonathan Hirschi's ambitions (TDS Racing) at Spa-Francorchamps, as he finishes collective testing ahead of the field. The...

Hirschi lives up to leader role

Going into this second round as Eurocup Megane Trophy series leader, there's no mistaking Jonathan Hirschi's ambitions (TDS Racing) at Spa-Francorchamps, as he finishes collective testing ahead of the field. The Swiss driver will need to look out for Michael Rossi (Boutsen Energy Racing). Back in the saddle, the Frenchman didn't take long at all to find his way around New Megane Trophy and finished the day with the second fastest time.

The 2008 Eurocup Megane Trophy champion is back! Michael Rossi teams up this year with Boutsen Energy Racing, arch rivals from last season. So collective test session 1 was the first time Rossi had got behind the wheel of a New Megane Trophy.

Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing), Nick Catsburg (Tech 1 Racing) and Michael Rossi were the first to set the pace. The three men took the top three positions with Hirschi in the lead in 2'30''307, ahead of Catsburg and Rossi. Gradually Michael Rossi upped the power. The Frenchman grabbed second, then Pierre Thiriet (TDS) span off resulting in the red flag coming out.

Jonathan Hirschi, in fine form today, upped the pace again and smashed the Eurocup Megane Trophy lap record for this circuit with a storming 2'28''547. Hirschi led from team-mate Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS Racing), leader of the Gentlemen Drivers and second in the overall standings. The fight for third was between Michael Rossi, Nick Catsburg and Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur). In the final laps, Mike Verschuur moved up to third behind the TDS drivers. Michael Rossi was in fourth place, while Hoevert Vos (Verschuur Autosport) ousted Nick Catsburg for fifth. For Catsburg, the close of the session will be remembered for a fire incident that was quickly controlled. Hapless Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport) today suffered steering pump problems and didn't get a single lap in during the first session.

The second session saw Michael Rossi continue his initiation with his New Megane Trophy. All eyes were on the Frenchman, but Jonathan Hirschi didn't waste any time in getting back into his preferred position: first! The two leaders were followed by Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur), Matthieu Cheruy (Tech 1 Racing) and Anthony Tardieu (Tech 1 Racing). The second session was subsequently affected by an unwelcome shower in the Les Combes turn just as drivers were about to fit new rubber. The positions would remain the same thereafter. Jonathan Hirschi lived up to his status as Eurocup Megane Trophy leader finishing fastest in collective testing ahead of Michael Rossi.

Quote, unquote:

Jonathan Hirschi: "Now I have to live up to my new status. Winning a race is one thing, but it's important that I prove that the win in Barcelona wasn't a lucky one. So it's a perfect start to the weekend with me clocking the best time. We're going to have to look out for Mike Verschuur and Michael Rossi though."

Michael Rossi: "I was pretty much at home in the New Megane Trophy. The top speed is faster, which is good. I hadn't driven in Eurocup Megane Trophy since the last round in Barcelona last season so I needed to get my bearings a little bit. Last year I got a perfect result here with 31 points out of 31 on the board. It's good to be with Boutsen Energy Racing, the same team I was vying with last season. We've found the perfect rhythm. We mean business!".

-credit: wsr

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Matthieu Cheruy , Bernhard Ten Brinke , Anthony Tardieu , Hoevert Vos , Michael Rossi , Jonathan Hirschi , Philippe Ma , Pierre Thiriet
Teams TDS Racing