No slip-ups for Petiz Portuguese driver Pedro Petiz (Iris Racing) collected his first Eurocup Megane Trophy win by opting for slick tyres, despite the fact it was raining on the start grid! Second-placed Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon-Euskadi)...
No slip-ups for Petiz
Portuguese driver Pedro Petiz (Iris Racing) collected his first Eurocup Megane Trophy win by opting for slick tyres, despite the fact it was raining on the start grid! Second-placed Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon-Euskadi) finished on the podium for the fourth time this season. Like Petiz, Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) made the most of an astute choice of tyres to claim the third podium spot.
The track was soaked by a shower as the drivers waited on the pre-grid. All the drivers with a few notable exceptions, including Pedro Petiz opted to put on wet weather tyres before the start. The first corner at the Dunlop chicane was very hotly contested and resulted in a collision involving Frederic Gabillon, Renaud Kuppens, Miguel Freitas and Christophe Lefranc. Matthieu Lahaye was badly impeded by the incident. His race effectively over, he had little choice but to go after the fastest race lap.
The safety car was immediately brought out. After one lap, the field was led by Jean-Philippe Dayraut, ahead of Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur), Bruce Lorgere-Roux (Tech 1 Racing), Anthony Beltoise (Delahaye Racing), Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium), Renaud Derlot (TP/Moteur Huger), Sebastien Dhouailly (Thierry Boutsen Racing), Pedro Petiz, Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) and James Kirkpatrick (Espilon-Euskadi).
By then the rain had stopped Ferrara, Kirkpatrick and Fantini took advantage of the safety car period to come into the pits to put on slicks. The race resumed at the end of lap four. This time, all the cars managed to negotiate the Dunlop chicane without incident. But no sooner had the race get underway again than six drivers were hit with drive through penalties for not fitting their tyres at least five minutes before the start. Beltoise, Derlot, Dhouailly, Cheruy, Miginiac and Madonia all had to come into the pits.
Meanwhile, Dayraut and Van Lagen had moved clear of the rest of the field. Pedro Petiz was reaping the rewards of having made the right tyre choice by taking third place, at the expense of Bruce Lorgere-Roux!
Petiz continued to make progress and picked off Van Lagen and Dayraut one by one. The young Portuguese driver wasted no time in building up a lead at the rate of five seconds per lap!
Behind Dayraut and Van Lagen, Andreas Mayerl was also reaping the rewards of choosing slicks by moving up to fourth place. But on the last lap, Ralph Meichtry moved past Mayerl and Van Lagen to steal the third spot on the podium!
Pedro Petiz: "Having qualified in 13th position, I wanted to take a gamble by opting for slicks. The safety car came out just as the track was beginning to dry out. After that, I just tried to go as quickly as possible without making any mistakes."
Jean-Philippe Dayraut: "Given our position in the championship, I couldn't take the risk of putting on slicks. I aligned my strategy to that of my rivals. I kept pushing because I hoped it might rain again."
Ralph Meichtry: "Like Pedro, I opted for slicks at the start. The gamble really paid off! The last lap was utterly unbelievable I overtook three cars, including that of Van Lagen on the final corner!"