Heylen puts an end to the suspense The Belgian Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) won the first race in Megane Trophy history on home soil here today after starting from pole and leading the race from start to finish. The French drivers Ludovic ...
Heylen puts an end to the suspense
The Belgian Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) won the first race in Megane Trophy history on home soil here today after starting from pole and leading the race from start to finish. The French drivers Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing) and Frederic Gabillon (Team Lompech Sport) took advantage of the large number of DNFs to make it onto the podium.
So as not to jeopardize the reliability of the cars, the race got underway with an Indianapolis-style rolling start! Jan Heylen made the most of his pole position to stay ahead of Jeffrey Van Hooydonk and Jean-Christophe Ravier.
The safety car had to come out after two laps to enable the marshals to clear Cesar Campanico's (Racing for Belgium) car off the track.
After this the field was more tightly packed, enabling Mathieu Lahaye to successfully attack and pass Ludovic Badey to take 6th place once racing resumed.
The safety car had to be brought out again when Pedro Petiz (Oregon Team) was forced to abandon. Not a lucky day for the Portuguese drivers!
Success also proved elusive for Jean-Christophe Ravier, whose car refused to respond when the safety car peeled off and racing was allowed to resume for the third time. Renaud Derlot (TP Competition) moved into third place as a result.
Van Hooydonk then started to attack Heylen, but the leader was not to be intimidated. Jeffrey was then also forced to abandon leaving Jan alone at the front of the field ahead of Renaud Derlot and Ludovic Badey, who had made a fine comeback.
Ludovic was not able to enjoy third place for long though as he was soon overtaken by Sebastien Dhouailly (Lompech Sport).
There were further twists in store as Renaud Derlot and Sebastien Dhouailly both abandoned in quick succession! In the wake of Jan Heylen, who had being going it alone since Van Hooydonk dropped out, Ludovic Badey and Frederic Gabillon were both maintaining a stable gap over the remaining field.
>From there on in, the race order remained unchanged to the finish line. Simon Abadie (Tech 1 Racing), Franz Verschuur (Equipe Verschuur) and Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing) were those who came close to a podium spot.
Jan Heylen: "The Megane Trophy is a completely new experience for me. This race was a tricky one for everyone involved. I was having a slight problem with the engine in the closing laps and backed off as a result."
Ludovic Badey: "I want to say a big thank you to my team who put in some excellent work here. We didn't do too many laps in free testing and it wasn't easy to find the right setup on a car about which we still have a lot to learn."
Ludovic Gabillon: "The championship is intriguing and the car feels very good. But we shouldn't forget that today's race was more of a mass testing session than a real race. Like Ludovic, I would like to thank my team for the massive amount of work they have put in since the start of the weekend."