Franchi's turn at the top A faultless performance and a good race strategy from Equipe Verschuur helped Gregory Franchi to win the second Eurocup Megane Trophy race at the Hungaroring. The Belgian ace was joined on the podium by Ralph Meichtry...
Franchi's turn at the top
A faultless performance and a good race strategy from Equipe Verschuur helped Gregory Franchi to win the second Eurocup Megane Trophy race at the Hungaroring. The Belgian ace was joined on the podium by Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) and Pedro Petiz (Tech 1 Racing).
Although the first few corners were negotiated without incident, a clash between Andreas Mayerl (Sesterheim Racing) and Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS) on lap one led to the early introduction of the safety car. Several drivers decided to come into the pits straight away to refuel: Gregory Franchi (Equipe Verschuur), Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance), Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) and Giuseppe Ciro (Oregon Team).
Meanwhile, Michael Rossi (Racing for Belgium) held the lead from Pedro Petiz, Ludovic Badey, Maxime Martin, Geoffroy Horion, Carlo van Dam, Dimitri Enjalbert, Fabrice Walfisch, Matthieu Cheruy and Mike Verschuur.
Whilst the safety car was still out on track, all the other drivers with the notable exception of Michael Rossi also decided to come in to refuel. The race resumed at the end of lap five. Rossi tried to break away from the rest, but it quickly became obvious that the French youngster would not be able to repeat yesterday's success.
Greg Franchi, however, found himself ideally placed to win. The Belgian still had to hold off the attentions of Ralph Meichtry. After the series of pit stops, Ten Brinke had taken fourth place ahead of Petiz, Walfisch, Ciro, Enjalbert, Van Dam and Verschuur.
Ciro lost two places on lap 8. The Italian was then overtaken by Verschuur on the next lap before coming under pressure from the rest of the field. First Lahaye, and then Martin, wasted no time in finding a way past the Oregon driver.
Thanks to clever piece of driving, Pedro Petiz got the better of Bernhard Ten Brinke at the start of lap 12. The Dutch driver was unable to hold off attacks from Fabrice Walfisch and Dimitri Enjalbert before he then came under pressure from Mike Verschuur, the new leader of a group also including Martin, Lahaye and Dhouailly. Horion, Badey and Van Dam then clashed, spelling the end of their race.
Rossi finally came in for his pit stop after 16 laps. As expected, Franchi regained the race lead, whereas the French driver rejoined in 13th position before being forced to retire two laps later With a comfortable 8'' lead over Meichtry, all Franchi had to do was get his car across the finishing line. Pedro Petiz racked up a sixth consecutive podium, which means he extends his lead at the top of the Eurocup standings.
Gregory Franchi: "I made a great start, which meant I gained two places. After my pit stop I pushed hard but I stayed at a reasonable distance behind. When he came in to the pits I upped the pace. We had the best performance today, as proved by the fact I set the fastest race lap."
Ralph Meichtry: "After a tough weekend at the Nurburgring, this meeting didn't get off to the best of starts for me. After a disappointing first race, I hope this podium finish means that I am back among the leaders!"
Pedro Petiz: "Things have been going well since the start of the season. We haven't quite reached the halfway stage of season but things are looking good for us. Having said that, I'm not going to get carried away, because I too could be hit by bad luck."