Gunning for Tech 1 Tech 1 Racing almost completed a clean sweep in Zolder, managing to collect enough points to end the weekend with the top two spots in the three championships (Drivers, Juniors and Teams)! The French team has cast a shadow...
Gunning for Tech 1
Tech 1 Racing almost completed a clean sweep in Zolder, managing to collect enough points to end the weekend with the top two spots in the three championships (Drivers, Juniors and Teams)! The French team has cast a shadow over its rivals for the time being, but it is by no means certain that they will produce a repeat performance in Nurburgring. As Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) proved in Belgium, anything is possible in the Eurocup Megane Trophy!
The Eurocup Megane Trophy's new Endurance format met with instant success in Zolder, producing even more exciting races. Apart from the sight of mechanics refueling the cars, spectators were seduced by the many dogfights in the field and the suspense created by the various pit stop strategies.
At Zolder, Pedro Petiz was the weekend's in-form driver. One win and a third place left the Portuguese driver at the top of the Driver and Junior standings. Since joining the Tech 1 Racing team, Pedro has improved his consistency. Good relationships have been forged with the other drivers in the team, Matthieu Lahaye, Dimitri Enjalbert and Sebastien Dhouailly, which means that team spirit is good and there is a healthy rivalry between the drivers. In fact, as things stand, it is one of his teammates that is running him the closest: Dimitri Enjalbert's switch from Clio Cup to Megane Trophy has been a roaring success. His debut performance brought him two podium finishes in Belgium, leaving him four points behind Pedro.
Tied for third in the overall standings are Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) and Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur). The Swiss driver had one of the best races of his career in Zolder: thanks to his team's inspired strategy in race two, he acquired a comfortable lead after his refueling pit stop and from then on ran away with the win.
As for Bernhard, he had a superb day on the Saturday in climbing onto the Eurocup podium for the first time! Giuseppe Ciro (Oregon Team) might have experienced similar joy on Sunday. But in spite of an identical strategy to the one adopted by Meichtry, the three-time Italian Clio Cup champion was unable to hold off the leading pair of Enjalbert and Petiz over the final laps of the race due to a slow puncture. With a bit more luck, the native of Calabria might also have enjoyed a champagne fight on the podium...
Several drivers did not get their season off to the kind of start they were hoping for. The likes of Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing), Ludovic Badey (TDS), Mike Verschuur (Equipe Verschuur), Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport) and Carlo van Dam (Racing for Belgium) will be determined to prevent their rivals from getting too far ahead of them. Obvious contenders for the title, these five drivers did not deliver according to their potential at Zolder for a variety of reasons: mechanical failure, crashes or minor incidents.
Two Belgian driver pairings taking part this weekend will also be worth watching: Kuppens/Horion (Boutsen Energy Racing) and Vosse/Franchi (Equipe Verschuur). They will however only be able to take to the start if their respective engineers have managed to restore their cars to racing condition after Zolder.
In the Junior championship, the scrap behind the top two of Petiz and Enjalbert is very close. For the time being, it's yet another Tech 1 driver that is holding onto third place: Sebastien Dhouailly is in the process of moving up a gear after switching teams this year. Maxime Martin (Boutsen Energy Racing), who has decided to go it alone from now onwards, and Matthieu Cheruy (TDS) are only a few points behind