A gritty Le Mans weekend for Tech 1 Racing! Tech 1 Racing put on a good performance at the French round of the Eurocup Megane Trophy. If the weather made things very tricky for the drivers, Nick Catsburg, Antony Tardieu and Matthieu Cheruy all...
A gritty Le Mans weekend for Tech 1 Racing!
Tech 1 Racing put on a good performance at the French round of the Eurocup Megane Trophy. If the weather made things very tricky for the drivers, Nick Catsburg, Antony Tardieu and Matthieu Cheruy all performed well during the weekend.
The Le Mans weekend marked the start of the home stretch for Tech 1 Racing. After a good performance at Silverstone the team arrived in the Sarthe more motivated than ever. While Antony Tardieu and Matthieu Cheruy knew the Bugatti layout, it was Nick Catsburg's first time out on the track, and he used the collective sessions to get to grips with it.
The Dutchman learned the circuit's pitfalls quickly, and in the new Megane carying the number 3, he set the seventh-fastest time in the two collective sessions followed in eleventh and thirteenth places by his team-mates.
Qualifying took place on a dry track, and Catsburg showed that he had found his way round the circuit by setting the fifth-quickest time putting him on the third row alongside his team-mate, Tardieu. It was the latter's best qualifying performance since the start of the season. "Antony put on a great show. He had a strong qualifying session and was very motivated. He's got the monkey off his back this weekend," was how Simon Abadie analysed the situation.
Threatening clouds were gathering over the Bugatti circuit as the Tech 1 Racing drivers lined up on the grid. Tardieu and Cheruy collided on the formation lap putting a premature end to their race! "You can't hold it against them," said Simon. "These things happen and they'll learn from it." Catsburg made a perfect getaway from fifth and quickly took the lead. The Dutchman pushed hard and stayed in front until the two-thirds mark in the race.
The heavens suddenly opened and a downpour drenched the circuit. Catsburg decided to come in and put on rain tyres but fell back to ninth. He put his head down and picked off his rivals one by one to see the flag in fourth place. "Nick once again proved how good he is," smiled Simon. "He was very quick and dominated his rivals. If it hadn't started to rain, he'd have won the race. But he made a wise decision."
On Sunday, Tardieu and Cheruy made good starts but their hopes were dashed by another car in the Dunlop chicane, which hit Antony who cannoned into his team-mate. Tardieu had to retire while Cheruy managed to continue. He was twentieth at the end of lap 1 and drove his heart out throughout the 24-lap race to finish twelfth. Catsburg, too, was hit on the first lap and had to retire shortly afterwards.
"We're didn't have much luck during the second race," concluded Simon. "We've got four rounds left, two at the Nurburgring and two at Motorland. We've got to really go for it to finish on the podium again and try to score a victory. I know our drivers can do it!"
-credit: tech 1