Familiar faces! While Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur) set the best times in the opening two collective testing sessions, it was Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) who fought his way back in the third round. But when the three sessions were over,...
While Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur) set the best times in the opening two collective testing sessions, it was Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) who fought his way back in the third round. But when the three sessions were over, it was nevertheless the Eurocup leader who came out on top with the fastest time overall. The two men seem to be shaping up for another duel similar to the one we saw at the Nurburgring.
The day got off to a familiar start with Jaap Van Lagen arriving in the paddock with a huge smile on his face. As the current Eurocup Megane Trophy leader, the Dutchman is the favourite to inherit Jan Heylen's title. Seemingly not one to feel the pressure, he appears to use every lap behind the wheel of the Megane Trophy to his advantage.
After setting the quickest time of the first session early on, Van Lagen went on to confirm his good form in the afternoon. With a lap in 1'34''333, he eclipsed the fastest lap time of 1'35''712 set by Heylen last year.
Second in the both of the opening sessions, Matthieu Lahaye also confirmed that he is setting his sights high by putting himself top of the timing screens in the last session: "We have worked well here and the car is running well, both on worn and on fresh tyres. Our new working philosophy seems to be paying dividends. We are constantly trying out new setups. I think that this championship will be decided by just a few points."
Third fastest, Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon-Euskadi) is coming back to the fore after a tricky Summer period: "I've seen quite a significant gain in power since my engine was overhauled. But I think I can still find something more before qualifying. At any rate, I think I'm going to be in the hunt for a victory this weekend."
To do that, he will have to beat Bruce Lorgere-Roux (Tech 1 Racing), who has constantly been at the forefront of proceedings since he joined the Championship. Racing on home soil, James Kirkpatrick (Epsilon-Euskadi) also looks very impressive. Make no mistake, the Juniors certainly have the form it takes to pull a surprise!
Two other drivers are also making their Megane Trophy debuts this weekend: Charles Hall (TP Competition / Moteur Huger) and Ron Marchal (Racing for Belgium).
Franck Mailleux made his debut for TDS at the wheel of the car which has given Ludovic Badey five podiums spots in six races at the start of the season: "It's the first time this season that I've tried to drive at speed in a touring car and it'll take me some time to adapt, in particular when it comes to finding the apex. The car handles cleanly and is a pleasure to drive. Making the move from Formula Renault 2.0 to the Megane Trophy won't be easy, but I think I'm going to have fun this weekend!"