Heylen back on top After leading the second race here at Le Mans from start to finish, Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) takes his third victory in four races. He finished ahead of Renaud Derlot (TP Competition) and Cesar Campanico (Racing for ...
Heylen back on top
After leading the second race here at Le Mans from start to finish, Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) takes his third victory in four races. He finished ahead of Renaud Derlot (TP Competition) and Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium).
Renaud Derlot got off to a good start, but Jan Heylen was even quicker off the mark and outbraked him into the first corner. Jean-Christophe Ravier (Epsilon Euskadi) and Cesar Campanico were able to hold their positions, while Ludovic Badey was the biggest loser letting through Nicola Gianniberti and Pedro Petiz (Oregon Team). With the exception of Pierre Hirschi perhaps, who was unable to complete even one lap.
Heylen finished lap one with a lead of 1''5 over Derlot. Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing) then span his car on lap two and lost any chance of getting back onto the podium. Pedro Petiz then moved into 5th at the expense of Nicola Gianniberti, while Miguel Freitas (Racing for Belgium) caved in under pressure from Sebastien Dhouailly (Team Lompech Sport) and Franz Verschuur (Equipe Verschuur).
But the race order was far from decided, as Cesar Campanico got past Jean-Christophe Ravier, setting the fastest race lap while he was at it. Then, the field was cut down by two as the result of a collision between Simon Abadie (Tech 1 Racing) and Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing).
With a little help from Freitas, Sebastien Dhouailly was the next to go off onto the gravel. But he wasn't the only one. The Spaniard then went off himself after a coming together with Frederic Gabillon, Dhouailly's teammate! Another of the Spanish drivers, Luis-Miguel Reyes (Team Elias) suffered a similar fate.
Just when you thought Heylen had the race sewn up, Derlot put his foot down: he set the fastest lap of the race, getting right back onto the Belgian's tail. But the current leader of the Eurocup was not going to be intimidated and immediately pulled back a few tenths, showing the others who was boss!
Then, on lap 9, there was a spectacular crash: Miguel Freitas lost control of his car and Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) was unable to avoid him. The two Meganes ran straight into each other and the Race Director ordered the red flag to be shown to allow the extensive debris to be removed from the track.
The race order was taken on lap 8, with the final standings as follows: Heylen, Derlot, Campanico, Ravier, Gianniberti, Ravier, Petiz, Gianniberti, Benz, Porteiro, Verschuur and then Freitas.
Jan Heylen: "Today is much better day for me than yesterday when I dropped so many points."
Renaud Derlot: "I had a clutch problem during the warm-up lap and got off to a bad start. Jan went straight to the front and I just couldn't catch him."
Cesar Campanico: "I'm happy to be back on the podium after my poor performance in Valencia. I was trying to stay in touch with Renaud but he was very quick."