Petiz moves one step closer to the title Pedro Petiz (Tech 1 Racing) put in a flawless performance to claim his third race win of the season here today. The Portuguese driver could be crowned champion at Estoril with a meeting to spare! Ahead of...
Petiz moves one step closer to the title
Pedro Petiz (Tech 1 Racing) put in a flawless performance to claim his third race win of the season here today. The Portuguese driver could be crowned champion at Estoril with a meeting to spare! Ahead of Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance), Mike Verschuur (Equipe Verschuur) made it onto the podium for the first time. In total, 90,000 fans attended this, the fifth round of the World Series by Renault.
Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport), who started from pole, went into the opening bend in the lead ahead of Dimitri Enjalbert. Further back, there was a collision between Maxime Martin and Matthieu Lahaye. When he returned to the track, Lahaye then ran into Andreas Mayerl. Jean-Philippe Madonia's race also came to a premature close on lap 1, after which the safety car was brought out.
Behind Walfisch, Pedro Petiz had time to move past teammate Dimitri Enjalbert into second spot. They were followed by Carlo van Dam, Greg Franchi, Matthieu Cheruy, Mike Verschuur, Ludovic Badey, Jean-Philippe Dayraut and Giuseppe Ciro.
The race resumed after four laps. Carlo van Dam was the only driver to opt to refuel at this early stage. It remained to be seen whether the Dutchman would have enough left in the tank of his Megane to make it to the finish line
As soon as the action got back under way, Enjalbert tried to intimidate Petiz. In the battle for sixth place, meanwhile, Verschuur, Badey, Ciro, Dayraut and Meichtry often attempted passing manoeuvres three or four at a time! Chaos reigned within this group: Badey snuck past Verschuur, Meichtry took a detour through the gravel and Ciro also slipped up before involuntarily running into his teammate Dayraut!
The safety car was again brought out after seven laps, prompting a flurry of pit stops. Walfisch stopped by the pits one lap later, Van Dam stepping up into the lead ahead of Petiz, Franchi, Verschuur, Enjalbert, Badey, Rossi, Meichtry and Dermont.
When Walfisch rejoined the race, Van Dam was still in front. At the Adelaide hairpin, Badey ran into Enjalbert, sending the latter into a spin. The Frenchman was left languishing in last place, while less than two seconds separated Van Dam, Petiz, Franchi and Verschuur. The second group was led by Cheruy, followed by Rossi, Walfisch and Meichtry.
Thanks to a magnificent manoeuvre on the Lycee descent, Pedro Petiz snatched the lead at the end of lap 15. Just a few seconds later, Cheruy and Walfisch both made costly errors. Rossi thus stepped up into fourth spot, ahead of Verschuur, Meichtry, Ten Brinke, Cheruy, Dermont and Enjalbert.
At the front, Franchi tried to find a way past Van Dam. The Dutchman managed to cling onto second spot, but Greg was run into by Rossi, who was to receive a 25'' penalty after the race. Running out of fuel fast, Van Dam was passed by Verschuur. But Carlo was excluded for a technical non-conformity (brake calipers). A magnificent recovery from Enjalbert culminated in a fourth-place finish behind Meichtry.
Pedro Petiz: "I got off to a good start, which meant I was able to go past Dimitri and Carlo. Fabrice Walfisch was quick and I had to wait for him to refuel before I could get past him. Once again, the team did a tremendous job. After the second safety car, we knew that Carlo might well struggle on the last few laps."
Mike Verschuur: "First and foremost, I want to thank the team for all their hard work. This track was new to me and the weekend started badly as I couldn't take part in the first testing session... so I'm very happy with this result!"