Lahaye all the way Having claimed his first pole positions in qualifying this morning, Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) went on to win his first Eurocup Megane Trophy race this afternoon. Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur) finished second, and...
Lahaye all the way
Having claimed his first pole positions in qualifying this morning, Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) went on to win his first Eurocup Megane Trophy race this afternoon. Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur) finished second, and moves to the top of the overall standings. Bruce Lorgere-Roux completed a great result for Tech 1 Racing, taking third spot on the podium.
The two Tech 1 Racing Meganes got away to the perfect start from the front row. Matthieu Lahaye made it into the first turn ahead of from Bruce Lorgere-Roux. In fact, the first corner saw some very intense scrapping. James Kirkpatrick (Epsilon Euskadi) came off worst, his race over before it has barely started.
Behind Lahaye and Lorgere-Roux, the chasing pack at the end of lap one consisted of Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Veschuur), Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium) and Jeroen Reintjens (Equipe Verschuur), who was then overtaken by Pedro Petiz (Iris Racing) very shortly afterwards.
With three laps gone, the top three were lapping less than a second apart. Cesar Campanico was lapping on his own in fourth while Pedro Petiz had to watch out for the attacks of Jeroen Reintjens and Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon Euskadi).
The provisional top 10 is completed by Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance), Olivier Tielemans (Racing for Belgium) and Miguel Freitas (Racing for Belgium), who had by then got past Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing).
Ralph Meichtry span at the end of lap 4 and fell back to 18th place. Renaud Kuppens also lost control, allowing Frederic Gabillon (Team Lompech Sport) to move up into the top 10.
Gabillon was unable to maintain his position for long, as he was overtaken on the next lap by a very motivated Steve Abold (Roma Team Baumgartner), keen to pick up points an his home venue!
With eight laps gone, Jaap Van Lagen was applying more and more pressure on Bruce Lorgere-Roux. The Dutch driver managed to find a way past on the next lap, moving up into second position. A little further back, Jean-Philippe Dayraut relieved Jeroen Reintjens of sixth place.
Van Lagen was by that stage more than 3'' adrift of Lahaye. A gap that he was unable to narrow over the final three laps, allowing the Frenchman to ease home to his first win in the category.
Matthieu Lahaye: "Everyone at the team has been working very hard for the last two years and this first win is due recompense for our efforts. We were very quick in Istanbul and Misano, but we weren't able to convert our form into a win. This time we did it and now I know what I have to do to win. We'll see if I can keep it up tomorrow!"
Jaap Van Lagen: "I am now the Eurocup leader in the absence of Ludovic Badey. I hope he is back racing with us very soon. The car was very quick, as proved by the fact I set the fastest race lap."
Bruce Lorgere-Roux: "I didn't quite get my qualifying right, as I only started in second. In the race, I made a minor error when I was looking for a way past Matthieu and ended up letting Jaap pass me. But I'm still pleased with the result, since this is the first time I have raced at this circuit."