Megane: Estoril qualifying summary

Three sessions, three men on pole! Renaud Derlot (TP Compétition), Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing) and Marc Benz (Iris Racing) took the one pole position each from the three qualifying sessions. It was Badey who achieved the best ...

Three sessions, three men on pole!

Renaud Derlot (TP Compétition), Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing) and Marc Benz (Iris Racing) took the one pole position each from the three qualifying sessions. It was Badey who achieved the best overall performance , as he will be the only driver to start each race on the front row.

Session 1

After suffering mechanical problems during free practice, Frédéric Gabillon (Team Lompech Sport), Mike Parisy (Gemo Sport) and Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing) did not take to the track for this first session. Meanwhile the Verschuur team are racing against the clock to rebuild the Mégane of Paul Van Spluteren, who crashed off during free practice.

It was entirely unsurprising that Ludovic Badey took the best time in group A. The Pouchelon Racing driver was nonetheless 4/10ths off the time he set in free practice. In contrast, nothing seemed to work out for Jan Heylen, who finished fifth almost a second off the pace. The Eurocup leader was beaten by Gianniberti, Abadie and Burgueño.

The second session was dominated by the battle for supremacy between Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry Boutsen Racing) and Marc Benz (Iris Racing). But in the closing moments, Renaud Derlot (TP Compétition) snatched pole position from right under Badey's nose!

Session 2

Marc Benz held onto the best time for a long period until Renaud Derlot took control over proceedings. But Benz regained the top spot in the last few seconds of the session with a lap of 1'43''617. Many lap times were cancelled as they were set whilst the yellow flag was being shown - brought out after Philippe Macé went off. César Campaniço also went off, but still managed to take third place.

In group A, Ludovic Badey waited patiently for the right moment to dislodge Frédéric Gabillon from first place. His first lap time of 1'43''523 was enough to secure his first pole of the season! In an attempt to better Badey's time, Jan Heylen went very wide and into the gravel as he exited the Parabolica. The Belgian had to be satisfied with the fourth best time, behind Nicola Gianniberti (Oregon Team). Meanwhile, Badey managed to improve his time again.

Session 3

The third session proved to be much closer, with less than half a second covering the first six drivers. Ludovic Badey produced a faultless display in group A. He finished ahead of Jan Heylen, who got the better of Nicola Gianniberti by the tiny margin of three thousandths. Angel Burgueño, Simon Abadie and Frédéric Gabillon made up this very closely bunched group of drivers.

In group B, although Marc Benz held the best time for a long period, Renaud Derlot sprang to life five minutes from the end. But the TP Compétition driver was still 3/1000ths slower than Badey's time, which looked in danger of being beaten. But while Derlot could not better his time, Benz did just that to grab his first pole position of the season! He was also the first Junior to be on pole position. Matthieu Lahaye confirmed his Tech 1 Racing team's good run of form by taking the third best time, ahead of Jeffrey Van Hooydonk and César Campaniço!

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Thierry Boutsen , Jan Heylen , Cesar Campanico , Renaud Derlot , Ludovic Badey , Philippe Mace , Nicola Gianniberti , Simon Abadie , Marc Benz , Frédéric Gabillon , Matthieu Lahaye , Mike Parisy