Megane: Spa-Francorchamps Friday practice report

Come rain or shine, Rossi's the man! Michael Rossi (TDS Racing) today proved why he was the on-form driver during winter testing, after taking the lead in both sessions, on a dry track in the morning session and in the wet in the afternoon.

Come rain or shine, Rossi's the man!

Michael Rossi (TDS Racing) today proved why he was the on-form driver during winter testing, after taking the lead in both sessions, on a dry track in the morning session and in the wet in the afternoon. Dimitri Enjalbert (Tech1 Racing) finished second and Sebastien Dhouailly (Team Lompech Sport) third.

The favourites lost no time in establishing their lead during the first session of the day. Fabrice Walfish (Oregon Team) took the initial lead. The times got steadily faster at the beginning of the session, as lap on lap, Michael Rossi (TDS Racing) and then Bernhard Tin Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) fought their way to top place.

Michael Rossi, the man to beat during the off-season, launched into a series of increasingly quick laps, putting in a time of 2'31''356. Dimitri Enjalbert (Tech1 Racing) managed second place in front of Fabrice Walfish.

After fine tuning their set-ups, the 22 Eurocup Megane Trophy drivers stepped up the pace at the end of the session. Michael Rossi improved on his own lap time. Sebastien Dhouailly (Team Lompech) briefly dislodged Rossi from first place, but the TDS Racing driver reclaimed his position and had the final say.

Michael Rossi set the fastest time for this first session with a lap of 2'29''228. Dimitri Enjalbert, Sebastien Dhouailly and Fabrice Walfish completed the top four which was by then 100% French. The Belgian Maxime Martin (Boutsen Energy Racing) got under way in a comfortable manner to take fifth place.

A change of conditions for the second session followed a downpour which left the track wet. The racing line was drying out some minutes later. With Bernhard Ten Brinke ahead of Mathieu Cheruy (Tech1 Racing) and Jonathan Hirschi (Tech1 Racing), the drivers filed into the pits to put on slicks. The positions changed rapidly, Maxime Martin showed his form, followed by Michael Rossi who once again found himself at the top of the timings.

Michael Rossi was rather pleased with his performance, considering this was his first outing on this circuit: "I have never driven here before. The circuit is impressive. Today confirmed my performance in collective testing, when I was on the pace. I mustn't put any more pressure on myself and just need to do the same thing in qualifying."

Dimitri Enjalbert was also experiencing the Spa track for the first time today: "I took the time needed to work out the track. I realized that slipstreaming is really important here and that is going to make the races really interesting. It is vital to qualify in the top five. If you can manage that, anything is possible."

The weekend's single qualifying session will be held on Saturday morning. This will be followed by two 40-minute races, the first one on Saturday afternoon and the second race on Sunday.

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Sebastien Dhouailly , Dimitri Enjalbert , Maxime Martin , Bernhard Ten Brinke , Fabrice Walfish , Michael Rossi , Jonathan Hirschi
Teams TDS Racing