Enjalbert pips Hirschi at the post Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing) was dominant throughout the day's testing, only to be pipped at the post by Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing), who once again underlined that he is the man on form at ...
Enjalbert pips Hirschi at the post
Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing) was dominant throughout the day's testing, only to be pipped at the post by Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing), who once again underlined that he is the man on form at the moment. Hirschi took second in the end, just ahead of Eurocup Megane Trophy championship leader, Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), for whom today was only a first taste of the Le Mans.
There are a few changes to report in the Eurocup Megane Trophy series since the last race. Bernhard Ten Brinke, who has been a stalwart of the discipline ever since its inception in 2005, has handed his seat over to Pieter Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur). The young Dutchman, only 17 years of age, will find himself on track with his father, Jeroen (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), who joins the Gentlemen Driver category. Giovanni Longo (Oregon Team), already seen at Barcelona, is back for this French leg, while Gallia Secondo Natale (Oregon Team) makes his debut behind the wheel of New Megane Trophy.
Right from the start of this morning's session, Jonathan Hirschi put the pressure on. After being pushed off top spot in the Eurocup Megane Trophy overall standings at Silverstone, the Swiss driver was keen to mark his territory here. Bringing his lap time down lap by lap, he installed himself in first place in 1'42''579.
Dimitri Enjalbert tried to hit back around the mid-session point. In 1'42''114, the Frenchman took over the lead. Jonathan Hirschi then waited for the last ten minutes of the session before making another assault on the laptimes. With a marked improvement over his previous best laptime, he took the lead back. With 1'41''656, he ended the first session on top of the leaderboard, ahead of Dimitri Enjalbert and Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport), at the same time knocking over a second off the old car's best time on this circuit. For Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), the morning's session was a first taste of the Le Mans Bugatti track, and he took fourth best time, ahead of David Dermont (Boutsen Energy Racing) and Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS Racing), first of the Gentlemen Drivers.
The afternoon session started out on a slightly wet track, but the racing line quickly dried out and the drivers were able to up the pace in the second half of the session. Mike Verschuur, Dimitri Enjalbert and Jonathan Hirschi swapped first place several times, with Fabrice Walfisch and Nick Catsburg (Tech 1 Racing) putting up a fight to get in contention.
Jonathan Hirschi, with a laptime of 1'41''738, was the first driver to improve on his fastest time of the morning. The Swiss driver must have thought he was home and dry, but that was without counting on Dimitri Enjalbert. The Frenchman shot to the top of the timing screens with a 1'41''532 lap, to finish ahead of Jonathan Hirschi and Mike Verschuur. Over the two sessions, fourth place went to Fabrice Walfisch, ahead of David Dermont (Boutsen Energy Racing), in 5th.
Dimitri Enjalbert: "Jonathan Hirschi was quick today, right from this morning. We couldn't get a good time without new rubber, so we fitted a new set at the end of the session. The car performed well and I like this track where I got a win last year. Five wins on the trot would be good, I'm really motivated to try for that."
Jonathan Hirschi: "It's pretty frustrating to be ahead all day then be pipped at the post right at the end. But the results of collective testing here are still good for us, a lot better than at Budapest or Silverstone where we were lacking in pure performance. I'm hoping we're on the right track now. The situation is also very different now - I'm second in the overall standings and I'm the one doing the chasing. So the pressure's on Mike Verschuur rather than me - I don't have a lot to lose now. We've got to look out for Dimitri too and stop his run of wins asap."