Tech 1 Racing in the pink! Having claimed the three Eurocup Megane Trophy titles at Estoril, the Tech 1 Racing team ended the 2007 season in style. Just as they did at the Nurburgring, Dimitri Enjalbert, Matthieu Lahaye and Pedro...
Tech 1 Racing in the pink!
Having claimed the three Eurocup Megane Trophy titles at Estoril, the Tech 1 Racing team ended the 2007 season in style. Just as they did at the Nurburgring, Dimitri Enjalbert, Matthieu Lahaye and Pedro Petiz monopolised the podium at Barcelona. As expected, Pedro claimed the drivers' title in front of Dimitri.
Just a few days after the Estoril race, the Tech 1 Racing team set themselves up in the Barcelona pitlane in preparation for the final round of the season. The most noticeable evolution was on the bodywork: the traditional red stripes on the bonnet had given way to some even more fetching pink decoration -- in homage to the traditional colour of Tech 1's home town of Toulouse--
Following the usual free practice sessions, in order for teams to establish the best race set-up, the four Tech 1 drivers headed straight into qualifying on Saturday morning. At the end of the session, Matthieu Lahaye, Dimitri Enjalbert and Pedro Petiz formed a neat trio just behind the pole-sitter Fabrice Walfisch. Sebastien Dhouailly put in one of his best-ever qualifying performances with seventh place. On their second-fastest lap -- used to determine the grid for race two -- Matthieu, Pedro, Dimitri and Sebastien were once more inside the top 10.
At the start of race one, the trio of Tech 1 drivers held formation behind Walfisch. Then Dimitri Enjalbert started to overtake his rivals one by one in order to claim the lead on lap seven. A few laps later, the fuel stops began. Thanks to the expertise of the Tech 1 Racing mechanics, Dimitri found himself in the lead again when the stops were over -- on front of Pedro and Matthieu. The Frenchman went on to record a dominant win, his second of the year. Pedro was unable to hold off Matthieu -- who took second place. Nonetheless, third was quite enough to hand the drivers' and junior title to the Portuguese -- who was finally able to celebrate at the finish ! By finishing 10th, Sebastien Dhouailly scored some precious points towards both championships.
Sunday's race, by contrast, was not a good one for the Tech 1 Racing boys. An on-form Dimitri Enjalbert once more took the race lead, before an accident meant that the safety car came out. Most drivers took advantage of the situation to make a pit stop and fill up with fuel, but the Tech 1 drivers stayed out. Team boss Simon Abadie explained : " Our fuel consumption calculations told us that it was too early to stop. But the safety car completed a slow lap, which had two effects : the race was re-started after just one lap and the total distance became 20 laps rather than the 21 laps we had anticipated. We understood then that the race was lost. "
Having occupied the top four places until lap 13, the Tech 1 drivers were finally forced to come into the pits. Pedro Petiz encountered a mechanical problem, which caused his first retirement of the year. But Dimitri Enjalbert, Matthieu Lahaye and Sebastien Dhouailly didn't give up -- finishing the race in 10th, 11th and 12th places respectively.
Simon Abadie concluded : " This race proved that we are not invincible. But I would prefer to remember the final weekend of the season for our monopoly of the podium in race one, and the three championship titles won by Tech 1 Racing. It's been extremely difficult to run four cars throughout the year -- particularly when it came to the fuel stops. The team never stopped working and looking after all the little details that make the difference. Having won the teams' title last year, I'm pleased that we have proved it was no fluke. Pedro and Dimitri have had an exceptional season, fighting for victory every weekend. Matthieu was not always as successful, but we know that he had the potential to fight with them. As for Sebastien, he has had his best season so far, getting better with every race. I think he's ready to fight for podiums now-- "