The first race belongs to Enjalbert! Starting on row 2, Boutsen Energy Racing's Dimitri Enjalbert claimed victory in today's Eurocup Megane Trophy race, thanks to a perfect pit stop and great defensive driving against TDS Racing's Nick...
The first race belongs to Enjalbert!
Starting on row 2, Boutsen Energy Racing's Dimitri Enjalbert claimed victory in today's Eurocup Megane Trophy race, thanks to a perfect pit stop and great defensive driving against TDS Racing's Nick Catsburg at the end of the race. Pitting to put on slicks, Eurocup Megane Trophy newcomer, Oregon Team's Stefano Comini, made the most of the end of the race with a vintage last lap, already climbing the podium at this early stage in his career.
In driving rain, qualifying allowed Nick Catsburg to claim his second pole position of the season, ahead of Dimitri Enjalbert and McGregor by Equipe Verschuur's Bas Schothorst. The track was still damp at the start of the race, with all drivers opting for slicks.
Catsburg completed the first lap ahead of Enjalbert and Schothorst, with Comini and TDS Racing's Jean-Philippe Madonia making up the top five. The track was rapidly drying out and even in the first few laps, the drivers were keen to find the wettest part of the track to keep their tyres cool. Catsburg and Enjalbert remained neck and neck, building up a lead over Comini, who was now third after Schothorst crashed out. The Oregon Team driver was clearly too busy holding off TDS Racing's Pierre Thiriet and Jean-Philippe Madonia to try keeping up with the lead duo.
Choosing racing lines which could only be described as original, Catsburg and Enjalbert were inseparable in the run up to their mandatory pit stops. Enjalbert was first of the front runners to pit, while Catsburg chose his moment one lap later. Thiriet and Comini waited a little longer to follow suit, Comini taking a gamble on a set of slicks.
Once the refueling was finished, Enjalbert performed a perfect maneuver and took control of the race from Catsburg. Undaunted, Catsburg held on tight to the Frenchman's bumper. Behind him, Pierre Thiriet was trailing somewhat, while in fourth, Jean-Philippe Madonia led the way in the Gentlemen Drivers class.
Boutsen Energy Racing's Fabien Thuner left the track six minutes from the end of the race, causing the safety car to come out, before the race resumed for two more laps. Despite tyres which were clearly on the limit, Enjalbert held off salvos from Catsburg right to the finish. The Frenchman gains maximum points for the first race of the season, to lead Nick Catsburg and Stefano Comini, who, by overtaking four times in just two laps, earns the distinction of finishing on the podium in this, his first Eurocup Megane Trophy race.
Dimitri Enjalbert: "It's a great weekend for me, as when we got here we really weren't very fast. We've have a lot of engine problems. I was trying to get past Nicky from the start, but he was too quick. He made a good start, but my team made a perfect pit-stop which allowed me to take the lead. After the Safety Car went back in, I managed to hang on to the lead. It's a nice victory, it's important for the championship before we go to Brno, a track I don't really know too well."
Nick Catsburg: "It's been a good weekend! I would have preferred a dry race. The start of the race went well, but we lost the race in the pits. It was hard keeping the car on the track towards the end, but Dimitri was faster than me, whichever way you look at it."
Sefano Comini: "I wasn't really sure how to get the best starts in this car, so I lost places. We put slicks on for our stop. It wasn't easy for the first few laps, but it was certainly the best choice. I upped the pace towards the end and claimed third place. I'm very happy with my first podium finish."