Advantage, Catsburg? TDS Racing may already have won the 2010 Eurocup Megane Trophy Teams title, but Xavier Combet's drivers are preparing for a showdown this weekend as Nick Catsburg and Pierre Thiriet take to the track to do battle against...
TDS Racing may already have won the 2010 Eurocup Megane Trophy Teams title, but Xavier Combet's drivers are preparing for a showdown this weekend as Nick Catsburg and Pierre Thiriet take to the track to do battle against each other. Meanwhile, nothing is decided in the Gentlemen Drivers class, as with just a six-point lead over McG Fashion by Vershuur's Raymond Coronel, TDS Racing's Jean-Philippe Madonia still has a lot to do to claim his third consecutive title in the class.
In taking control of the Eurocup Megane Trophy after Hockenheim, Nick Catsburg admitted he thought he'd done the hardest job, even if the gap between him and teammate Pierre Thiriet was paper-thin then, with just two points separating the two drivers. Taking two pole positions followed up with a win plus a second place at Silverstone, the Dutchman has hammered home his lead in the Drivers category. With eleven points more than Pierre Thiriet, Nick Catsburg is all set up to manage the final Barcelona leg.
So at 22 years old, Nick Catsburg looks to be on his way to taking the first title of his career, right from his second season in the Eurocup Megane Trophy, in which case he walks away with the coveted prize of a tryout aboard the Nissan GT-R, running in FIA GT1 World Championship. With nine pole positions, five wins and nine podiums, the figures are on his side. But even if Nick Catsburg and Pierre Thiriet are the best of partners, Pierre Thiriet will be giving it his all right to the end to try and thwart his friend's and teammate's plans. Barcelona is the circuit where the Frenchman took to the track for his very first race last season, so it would mean a lot to take a win on the circuit where it all began for him. Pierre Thiriet's situation is different to Nick Catsburg's - he has nothing to lose; with the Teams title already won for TDS Racing, he doesn't have any sums left to do.
In third place behind Nick Catsburg and Pierre Thiriet, Stefano Comini (Oregon Team) can no longer lay claim to the title, but he can still aim for second place. The mischievous Swiss driver, already victor of three races this season, is going to do his best to finish his first season in the Eurocup Megane Trophy in style. With a fourth and a first at Hockenheim, and a one-two at Silverstone, Stefano is on a roll and is going to make the most of it.
Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing) is the fourth man to have made his mark this year, but he is only sitting fifth in the Drivers category behind Bas Schothorst (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur). Back on song at Silverstone, the Frenchman really wants to finish the season like he started it - by winning. Bas Schothorst, Renaud Derlot (Boutsen Energy Racing), Fabien Thuner (Boutsen Energy Racing) and Niccolo Nalio (Oregon Team), regularly in the leading pack, are also going to do what they can to finish the season on a high note.
The situation in the Gentlemen Drivers category is just as undecided. Jean-Philippe Madonia seemed to be edging his way straight towards a third consecutive title, but the Frenchman hasn't had a win since the summer break. Raymond Coronel has caught up on much of the lost ground, notably thanks to two victories at Silverstone. Just six points separate the two men. Jean-Philippe Madonia is the favourite, but Raymond Coronel can count on the Dutch armada to help him in his quest. Hoevert Vos (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), Wim Beelen (Equipe Verschuur), Harrie Kolen (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) and Steven Gjisen (Equipe Verschuur) will be major allies for Coronel. So to be sure of avoiding trouble, the simplest thing for Jean-Philippe Madonia will be to stay clear of the peloton and keep up with the big boys in the leading group, just like he has already done twice this season, to finish up on a podium spot in the overall standings.
-source: renault sport