Mike Verschuur: living life to the full! McGregor by Equipe Verschuur's Mike Verschuur will have had mixed emotions during this race. Virtual title holder before the refuelling, he left the pits in 3rd, before dropping to 4th by the last lap....
Mike Verschuur: living life to the full!
McGregor by Equipe Verschuur's Mike Verschuur will have had mixed emotions during this race. Virtual title holder before the refuelling, he left the pits in 3rd, before dropping to 4th by the last lap. But if Mike Verschuur stayed longer in the pits than his rivals, it's because he took on more fuel than his rivals. This strategy paid off, as Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing), Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing) and Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport) were out of gas before the end of the race. They handed victory, and the title, to Mike Verschuur.
The Eurocup Megane Trophy title fight reached its climax today. Starting in pole position, Mike Verschuur made an excellent job of the race. He was first into turn one, but Dimitri Enjalbert made an equally impressive start and took control of the race by the end of the first lap. He led Mike Verschuur, Jonathan Hirschi and Jean-Philippe Madonia, while Hoevert Vos and Jean-Charles Miginiac collided and were forced to retire. Equipe Verschuur's Bas Schothorst and Enjalbert were hit by Boutsen Energy Racing's David Dermont and also were out of the race before the end of an action packed first lap.
The lead trio of Enjalbert, Verschuur and Hirschi began to break away from the rest of the action. TDS Racing's Jean-Philippe Madonia was kept busy fending off Fabrice Walfsich, Mathieu Cheruy and Pierre Thiriet as Walfisch, spying his chance, snatched fourth.
Enjalbert and Hirschi were the first to refuel, with Walfisch following suit one lap later. Mike Verschuur waited until the very last moment to make his pit stop, which was much longer than that of his competition, as he exited the stands behind Enjalbert and Hirschi.
Verschuur was soon hot on the heels of Hirchi. If the Netherlander could get past the Swiss driver, he was guaranteed the 2009 Eurocup Megane Trophy title. Fabrice Walfisch was also there, ready to take advantage of the slightest error. The competition between the drivers was intense, but Hirsci hung onto his second place. At the start of the final lap, the Frenchman overtook Mike Verschuur at the end of the pit straight, to claim third, forcing Verschuur back down to fourth.
But the drama had only just begun, when in the final few meters, Enjalbert, Hirschi and Walfisch ran out of fuel. The three drivers were in an agonizing position and tried to coast to the finish. This handed a victory, and the title, to Mike Verschuur. The Dutchman claimed the race ahead of Fabrice Walfisch and Dimitri Enjalbert and snatched the Eurocup Megane Trophy crown, one race before the close of the season. After the race, Fabrice Walfisch dropped one place in the classifications due to an overtaking out of the track.
Mike Verschuur: "I'm very happy. We built up a strategy during the race and the team worked really well. I had no problems whatsoever. The race went well. I got off to a good start, but I was understeering a little at the start. It wasn't my best race ever, but the result was unbelievable. In the future, I'm hoping to pursue my career in touring car racing and why not get involved in the WTCC?"
Dimitri Enjalbert: "It was a tough race. I was able to overtake Mike during the refueling stops and to take the lead. On the final lap, unfortunately I had a mechanical problem and two drivers got past me. Right now, I'm going all out to finish second in the championship."