Tech 1 Racing harvests the points The Eurocup Megane Trophy's 2008 season kicked off last weekend on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in front of 75 000 spectators. The 4 Tech 1 Racing drivers put down markers in the first meeting and...
Tech 1 Racing harvests the points
The Eurocup Megane Trophy's 2008 season kicked off last weekend on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in front of 75 000 spectators. The 4 Tech 1 Racing drivers put down markers in the first meeting and monopolised the podium. The squad from Toulouse left the Belgian circuit leading the teams' classification.
Tech 1 Racing, last year's drivers' and teams' winner, is back to defend its titles in 2008 as is the case in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Carrying the squad from Toulouse's colours are Dimitri Enjalbert, Matthieu Cheruy, Jonathan Hirschi and Bernard Delhez.
After a learning test session, qualifying gave a more accurate picture of the various teams' strengths and weaknesses. The grid for the first race was formed taking into account each driver's fastest time, and the starting order of the second round was determined by the second-quickest time of each one.
Dimitri Enjalbert, one of the favourites for the 2008 title, set the second-best time overall and started from the front row in each race. Jonathan Hirschi and Matthieu Cheruy qualified a little further back (8th and 9th for race 1: 5th and 6th for race 2). Bernard Delhez, who is racing in the newly-created Gentlemen Drivers' classification, qualified twice in 3rd place in his category.
There were no problems at the start of the first race of the season. Dimitri, Matthieu and Jonathan were part of a tightly-packed bunch fighting for places on the rostrum. Dimitri then ran into ignition coil problems, which dropped him out of contention leaving his team-mates battling for the top 3 places. The outcome of the race was decided during the obligatory refuelling stop. "We've done a lot of work on this aspect, which allows you to gain precious time in the Megane Trophy," explained Simon Abadie. "It's very hotly-contested on the track so it's important to pull back a few seconds in the pits." After the stop Matthieu and Jonathan were in 2nd and 3rd places respectively.
The two Tech 1 drivers crossed the line in that order. After the finish the Frenchman and the Swiss, who both scored their first podium finishes, were of the same opinion: "the strategy established by Tech 1 was perfect. We did the job on the track and the team's performance in the pits was brilliant!"
Dimitri Enjalbert finally nursed his car home in 13th place. Bernard Delhez also tasted the joys of the podium as he finished second in his category. The second race confirmed the Tech 1 Racing team's excellent form as well as its drivers' steadiness. Right from the green light Jonathan Hirschi made a great start and took 2nd place and the Swiss was crawling all over the leading car driven by Michael Rossi. Dimitri Enjalbert was in 3rd spot leading the pursuing pack, which also contained Matthieu Cheruy.
Not until the end of the race did the positions change. The 3 Tech 1 Racing Meganes were battling for the podium and finally it was Enjalbert who got the better of his team-mates to take 2nd place. Cheruy scored his second podium finish of the meeting with Hirschi in 4th spot completing a good result for the Tech 1 Racing Megane Trophy machines. Bernard Delhez added to the team's joy with his second 2nd place on the trot in the Gentlemen's Trophy.
"It's been a good weekend for the whole outfit," smiled Simon Abadie. "Matthieu and Jonathan tasted the joys of the podium on a very selective track. They're in second and third places in the drivers' championship and that's a great start. Dimitri was a bit unlucky in the first race, but there's still a long way to go; he's got enough time to close the gap. Finally, Bernard's season has got off to a flying start as he's in second place in the Gentlemen Drivers' classification. Thanks to each one's steadiness and the team's performance we're leading the teams' championship. Now, we've got to continue in the same vein and start winning races."
Rendezvous at Silverstone at the beginning of June for next round of the Eurocup Megane Trophy.
-credit: tech 1 racing