Campanico and Derlot fight back Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium) took his first pole position of the season in the opening qualifying session. This evening the Portuguese driver will start alongside Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry ...
Campanico and Derlot fight back
Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium) took his first pole position of the season in the opening qualifying session. This evening the Portuguese driver will start alongside Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry Boutsen Racing), back to top form after a catastrophic weekend in Bilbao. And Campanico nearly did the double, but Renaud Derlot (TP Competition) was just that little bit too quick for him, going a tenth of a second faster in the second session!
With only a few minutes of the session gone, Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing) had already managed to spin his car. It was no surprise to see the Racing for Belgium drivers quickly move to the top of the timing screens. Jan Heylen and Cesar Campanico were involved in a head-to-head duel which Ludovic Badey finally put an end to in the closing minutes. Frederic Gabillon (Team Lompech Sport) and Simon Abadie (Tech 1 Racing) completed the top 5, who all finished within a second of pole. Wim Coekelbergs, back behind the wheel of the number 12 car, was arguably less impressive than his Racing for Belgium drivers, putting in a 540 spin in the closing seconds. In the end, it was Campanico who came out on top ahead of Heylen. Ludovic Badey was to be disqualified after the end of the session for non-compliance with technical regulations (inverted brake disks).
In the second series, three drivers battled it out for the fastest time: Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry Boutsen Racing), Jean-Christophe Ravier (Epsilon Euskadi) and Renaud Derlot (TP Competition). The red flag was then brought out to halt the session and allow the stewards to clear the car of Pierre Hirschi (Gemo Sport) from the track. There was about four minutes of the session left when qualifying resumed. Nicolas Gianniberti (Oregon Team) made the most of the situation by robbing his teammate Pedro Petiz of the 4th best time. At the front, there was no change in the standings and Van Hooydonk was unable to unseat Campanico from pole.
The second session was rapidly interrupted as Pedro Petiz span his car on cold tyres. Due to a broken shock absorber, Jean-Christophe Ravier was unable to have his say in the duel between Jeffrey Van Hooydonk and Renaud Derlot. This time, Derlot came out on top. Mathieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) and Nicolas Gianniberti (Oregon Team) slipped in ahead of Ravier.
It was not until midway through the session that Jan Heylen took the lead in the second series. The Belgian moved ahead of Frederic Gabillon and Ludovic Badey, who was out for revenge after having been ruled out of the first session. Badey and Campanico then got past Gabillon but the first four drivers were all still within 1/10th of a second just four minutes from the close! Heylen then made a slight error when trying to improve on his time and Campanico got the upper hand, though was unable to better the time set by Derlot, who therefore took pole. It was then Badey's turn to move ahead of Heylen. Angel Burgueño (Team Elias) and Frederic Gabillon completed the top 5. Mike Parisy, who had suffered a broken gearbox in the first session, was yet again let down by a mechanical problem.