100% French podium! The 150,000 spectators present at the French round of the World Series by Renault had been waiting all weekend to hear the Marseillaise ring out on the podium. Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon-Euskadi) gave them just what they...
100% French podium!
The 150,000 spectators present at the French round of the World Series by Renault had been waiting all weekend to hear the Marseillaise ring out on the podium. Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon-Euskadi) gave them just what they wanted as he recorded the weekend's first French win. The podium was completed by two other French drivers, team-mates at Tech 1 Racing: Matthieu Lahaye and Bruce Lorgere-Roux. Lahaye's second place meant he won the Junior title before the last meeting.
Bruce Lorgere-Roux got away to an excellent start and led into the Dunlop chicane. Jaap Van Lagen ran into the gravel trap, followed shortly afterwards by Sebastien Dhouailly, Pedro Petiz, Miguel Freitas and Mathieu Cheruy, who were all forced to retire.
In keeping with the trend set in today's other races, the safety car was brought out at the end of the first lap. At this stage, Bruce Lorgere-Roux led from Jean-Philippe Dayraut, Cesar Campanico, Matthieu Lahaye, Renaud Derlot, Renaud Kuppens, Anthony Beltoise, Jaap Van Lagen, Frederic Gabillon and Ralph Meichtry.
The race resumed at the end of lap four. This time, it was Lorgere-Roux's turn to take an unconventional route through the gravel trap at the Dunlop chicane: Jean-Philippe Dayraut moved into the lead ahead of Lahaye and Campanico. Lorgere-Roux didn't waste any time in attacking the Portuguese driver and got past him on the very next lap! A little further back, Jaap Van Lagen led a group featuring Renaud Kuppens, Renaud Derlot, Anthony Beltoise, Ralph Meichtry and Frederic Gabillon.
Beltoise's race came to a premature end as he ran into the gravel trap on lap 8. Campanico then grabbed third spot from Lorgere-Roux. In the chasing pack, Gabillon got past Meichtry, but was then given a warning by Race Control for failing to observe the course route.
At the front, Dayraut was unable to extend his lead over Lahaye. Campanico and Lorgere-Roux swapped places several times. Just behind, Jaap Van Lagen was ready to take advantage of the slightest opportunity. And the Dutchman's patience was rewarded as he finally managed to muscle his way in between Bruce and Cesar on the penultimate lap!
Jean-Philippe Dayraut: "We have had engine problems all season. The cylinder block ended up going completely on Friday. I think that the car is more competitive with the new engine. I am enjoying driving the car in what is a very competitive championship. Matthieu wasn't far behind it was a great race. I hope I can do just as well in Barcelona."
Matthieu Lahaye: "I am very pleased to have secured the Junior title before going to Barcelona. I was helped by Van Lagen's error, which allowed me to move up into second position. My goal now is to win the overall title in Barcelona, although I know I will undoubtedly need a bit of luck to achieve that."
Bruce Lorgere-Roux: "We are getting used to having both Tech 1 cars finish in the points! It's very a good result for us as regards the team championship. I will be going all out in Barcelona to hold onto second place in the Junior championship."