Dayraut holds firm Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon Euskadi) won his second race of the season in Misano after a non-stop scrap with Ludovic Badey (TDS) and Junior driver Luigi Ferrara (Oregon Team). Poleman Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur) ...
Dayraut holds firm
Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon Euskadi) won his second race of the season in Misano after a non-stop scrap with Ludovic Badey (TDS) and Junior driver Luigi Ferrara (Oregon Team). Poleman Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur) finished fourth despite a drive through penalty.
Jaap Van Lagen got away to the best start from pole position, tracked closely by Jean-Philippe Dayraut. Everyone made it through the first bend without incident, but subsequent corners were not so easily negotiated. Massimiliano Fantini (Oregon Team) was left stranded in the gravel, Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) ended up on the grass after a 360 spin and Pascal Ballay (Energy Racing) span his car on the track
Van Lagen ended lap one at the front, leading from Dayraut, Badey, Ferrara, Meichtry, Reinjtens, Campanico, Ten Brinke, Kirkpatrick and Freitas.
Jean-Philippe Dayraut did not take long to start having a crack at Jaap Van Lagen. The Dutchman seemed slower, but he managed to hold off Dayraut! Ferrara moved past Badey into third and then began to close on the two leaders.
On lap 3, Ten Brinke made a costly error that saw him fall back from 8th to 12th.
Jaap Van Lagen was handed a drive through penalty on lap 6 for not having kept in position on the start grid. Just behind, Luigi Ferrara and Jean-Philippe Dayraut were involved in a rare old fight. The young Italian finally found a way past, despite losing a fragment of his front bumper in the process!
Ferrara was unable to enjoy his lead for very long. The broken bumper was rubbing up against the tyre, forcing the Oregon Team driver to let Dayraut and Badey past. Van Lagen came in for his penalty on lap 8, leaving Dayraut in control of the race. Almost glued to the back of leader's car, Ludovic Badey appeared to be waiting for the right moment to pounce. Ferrara managed to hold onto third spot, just behind his two rivals.
Behind the leading three, Ralph Meichtry tried to keep James Kirkpatrick at bay. But the two men clashed on lap 12, meaning all the Swiss driver's efforts in this race would come to nothing. The safety car was brought out, and Luca di Cienzo (TP Competition) was also compelled to give up his 9th place after losing his car's bonnet.
The race then resumed for two more laps. And the leading three resumed their fierce struggle. Badey attacked Dayraut while Ferrara attacked Badey. The podium places were far from being settled! And Van Lagen, who had overtaken Kirkpatrick, even managed to get back into the scrap over the final bends. But the driver order remained unchanged, although the four cars all crossed the line within less than a half second of each other!
Jean-Philippe Dayraut: "It was important to collect as many points as possible for the championship after our troubles in Istanbul. Ludovic also had a good race, so I have only caught up three points on him. Tomorrow's another day, however. We'll try to produce a repeat performance."
Ludovic Badey: "I had problems with the clutch throughout the race. It was a good scrap with Jean-Philippe. I tried to get past him on the final lap but it just wasn't possible. This is my fifth straight podium in five races."
Luigi Ferrara: "I am pleased to achieve my first podium finish on home soil! The race wasn't easy because part of the bumper was rubbing against the tyre."