Mike Verschuur takes the upper hand The title will be decided this weekend in Eurocup Megane Trophy. Championship leader Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), scored important psychological points today by putting in the best ...
Mike Verschuur takes the upper hand
The title will be decided this weekend in Eurocup Megane Trophy. Championship leader Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), scored important psychological points today by putting in the best performance in collective testing, ahead of Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing). Newcomer to the discipline, Bas Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) turned heads with the third best time, just in front of Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing).
The first collective testing session on the Motorland Aragon circuit was an initiation for all the drivers on this new track, and in particular for Bas Schothorst who is replacing his cousin, Pieter, aboard the New Megane Trophy No. 14.
It was Jonathan Hirschi who set the pace, swapping fastest lap times with Nick Castburg (Tech 1 Racing). The drivers improved their times with each lap and it was Jonathan Hirschi who got himself firmly in control with a lap time of 2'05''895. He led the field from Bas Schothorst, Dimitri Enjalbert, Pierre Thiriet (TDS Racing) and Mike Verschuur. All the competitors opted to multiply the laps on track during the early part of the session, and gradually the pecking order took shape.
The track was still very slippery in the morning session and the Eurocup Megane Trophy drivers found it difficult to keep on the tarmac at times, Nick Castburg finding himself in the gravel trap at one point. Jonathan Hirschi and Bas Schothorst battled it out for the quickest time. In the end, it was the Swiss driver who came out on top. He clocked in his fastest lap at 2'04"755, finishing ahead of Bas Schothorst -very much at ease for a first outing in a New Megane Trophy-, then Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport), Mike Verschuur and Dimitri Enjalbert.
Bas Schothorst started the afternoon session in fine style. The Dutchmen led from countrymen Nick Catsburg and Mike Verschuur. As in the morning session, the drivers chose to take long relays, taking advantage of the increasingly quick track. Mike Verschuur waited until the closing moments before making his charge and after several fast laps took the lead in 2'04''744. Dimitri Enjalbert got the message and in turn made his charge, upping the stakes by just over a hundredth of a second. With a lap clocked in a time of 2'04''733, the Frenchman temporarily ousted Verschuur from the top spot.
But Mike Verschuur, clearly displaying his ambitions for this last weekend of the season, wrestled back to first place. The Eurocup Megane Trophy leader claimed the best performance of the day with a lap time of ???, finishing ahead of Dimitri Enjalbert, still mathematically in contention, and the revelation of the day, Bas Schothorst. The Dutchman has certainly wasted no time in finding his way around the New Megane Trophy.
Mike Verschuur: "It was a very good session today. We are on the pace, and that's never a foregone conclusion on a new circuit you're not familiar with. This circuit is really varied, with fast sectors, technical sectors--. It's very interesting to drive. We use trajectories that are pretty different from those used by the single-seaters, so the track was very dirty for us at the start of the session. We'll have to watch out for that at the beginning of the race tomorrow."
Dimitri Enjalbert: "It's a long track. It took me some time to get things sorted, but at the end of the day we're in pretty good shape. In my opinion the title is still to go for. You never know what can happen in a final when the stakes are high. It's up to me to seize any opportunity I may get. In any event, I've got to go for the win and nothing less." Bas Schothorst: "New Megane Trophy was a complete discovery to me this morning. This car is really good fun to drive, a lot more effective than anything I've ever driven up to now. I had a little trouble getting the best out of the new tyres thoughy. I'd just love to take part in a full season of Eurocup Megane Trophy in 2010."