EU Megane: Series Hockenheimring race one notes

Catsburg draws level with Thiriet TDS Racing's Nick Catsburg claimed victory at the end of some vintage racing in the Eurocup Megane at Hockenheim today, the Netherlander finishing ahead of teammate Pierre Thiriet and Boutsen Energy ...

Catsburg draws level with Thiriet

TDS Racing's Nick Catsburg claimed victory at the end of some vintage racing in the Eurocup Megane at Hockenheim today, the Netherlander finishing ahead of teammate Pierre Thiriet and Boutsen Energy Racing's Renaud Derlot. This, his fourth win of the season, allows Catsburg to draw level with championship leader, Thiriet.

Oregon Team's Niccolo Nalio may have thought he was on line for the first pole position of his career, but it was taken away from him due to numerous failures to respect the racing line. As a result Nick Castburg was given the honour, ahead of Nalio's teammate Stefano Comini and McGregor by Eqiuipe Verschuur's Bas Schothorst.

Catsburg came out fighting, immediately building a lead over Schothorst, who found his way into second thanks to an error by Comini. Comini, who started in second place, ran wide and wound up in sixth place by the end of the first lap.

The lead trio, composed of Catsburg, Schothorst and Thiriet made a leisurely getaway while, in fourth, TDS Racing's Jean-Philippe Madonia was busy fending off Renaud Derlot and Comini. The Swiss driver seized his chance, overtaking the Frenchman to claim fifth place on lap five. One lap later he launched an assault on Madonia to slide into fourth. It was also Derlot's chance to climb up the race order, sticking like glue to Madonia's bumper. A few moments later he had passed Madonia, who slipped from fourth to sixth place within a matter of a few corners.

The racing was as close as ever, with the first six drivers separated by just two seconds after six laps. It was therefore the mandatory pitstops which would be the deciding factor.

Renaud Derlot was the first of the leaders to enter the pits, while Nick Catsburg chose to hang back, refuelling one lap later, along with the rest of the pack.

After the pit stops, the race order remained largely unchanged. Catsburg held his ground, followed by Schothorst, Thiriet and Derlot. Only Stefano Comini lost out, finding himself sixth behind Boutsen Energy Racing's Fabien Thuner.

Bas Shothorst began to chip away at Nick Catsburg as the race entered its closing stages but the two drivers collided and Schothorst crashed out. Pierre Thiriet took advantage of the incident, catching up with Catsburg. The leader of the Eurocup Megane Trophy championship began to attack his current second, but in vain. Behind them the racing between Stefano Comini and Fabien Thuner was nothing short of spectacular. The two Swiss drivers were neck and neck, but Thuner resisted allowing Comini to force a mistake from his fellow countryman, who crashed out dropping back to sixth place.

At the end of this remarkable race, Nick Catsburg managed to scrape the narrowest of victories over Pierre Thiriet. In his return to the class, Renaud Derlot completed the podium. Catsburg's fourth victory of the season puts him level-pegging with Pierre Thiriet in the Eurocup Megane Trophy championship standings. McGregor by Equipe Verschuur's Hoevert Vos won the Gentlemen Driver's category.

Nick Catsburg : "I think Bas Shothorst was a little impatient. He was quicker than me and could have quite easily overtaken me, but that's the way the race goes. The situation between Pierre and me is a funny one^a we're teammates, we're equal on points, and there are just five races left^a this one's going to go all the way to the end of the season!"

Pierre Thiriet : "The season is far from being over! It was a new beginning for me today. Nick is very fast, and he won't be easy to beat. Today I was quicker at the end of the race, but I just couldn't get past him.

Renaud Derlot : "Nick and Pierre are fighting for the championship, so I didn't want to upset the final outcome. I'm very happy with third place. The setup is a bit of a compromise here. I was very fast on the straights, but the TDS Racing guys were much better under braking. It's up to us to find the right solution tomorrow."

-source: renault sport

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Renaud Derlot , Philippe Ma , Pierre Thiriet , Niccolo Nalio , Stefano Comini
Teams TDS Racing