Max the menace The Belgian national anthem rang out at Le Mans as Maxime Martin (Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing) picked up his fifth race win of the season. Michael Rossi (TDS) was second, with Matthieu Cheruy (Tech 1 Racing) in third. Martin's...
Max the menace
The Belgian national anthem rang out at Le Mans as Maxime Martin (Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing) picked up his fifth race win of the season. Michael Rossi (TDS) was second, with Matthieu Cheruy (Tech 1 Racing) in third. Martin's win puts him within seven points of Michael Rossi in the Eurocup Megane Trophy overall standings.
From the off, Maxime Martin drew level with poleman Dimitri Enjalbert (Tech 1 Racing). Things got messy at the Dunlop chicane, where Jonathan Hirschi (Tech 1 Racing) hit Michael Rossi, who in turn made contact with Enjalbert. The winner of yesterday's race span off and was forced to retire due to a damaged right-hand rear wheel. Jonathan Hirschi, who started from fourth on the grid, also lost ground as a result. At the end of lap 1, Maxime Martin was out in front, with Matthieu Cheruy and Michael Rossi his nearest rivals.
Rossi wasted no time in powering past Cheruy and got right up on Martin's tail. Lorenzo Bontempelli (Oregon Team) was lying in fourth place, ahead of Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS) and Sebastien Douailly (Team Lompech Sport). Having started from twentieth position on the grid, the Frenchman climbed 14 places in just two laps!
At the front of the field, Maxime Martin and Michael Rossi were neck-and-neck. Third-placed Matthieu Cheruy lost his rear extractor, but the Tech 1 driver managed to keep up his momentum and pulled away from Bontempelli. The Italian driver had his work cut out trying to hold off a resurgent Sebastien Dhouailly, who soon moved past him into fourth spot.
In a bid to get ahead, Maxime Martin opted to refuel early, at the end of lap 7. Rossi waited three laps more before heading in for his mandatory stop, and rejoined the race just behind Martin.
Once all the drivers had refueled, Maxime Martin once again found himself at the front, with an advantage of more than four seconds over Michael Rossi. The battle for third spot was a closer affair, with Mathieu Cheruy, Sebastien Dhouailly and Fabrice Walfisch (Oregon Team) all in contention. In the end, Cheruy got away from the others and the third place on the podium was his.
For the fifth time this season, Maxime Martin was the first man to cross the finish line, with Michael Rossi claiming second place. Just seven points now separate the two men. Some way adrift in third place, Dimitri Enjalbert can now kiss his title hopes goodbye.
Maxime Martin: "This was an important win in the context of the championship. I got a good start. I don't really know what went on behind me, but I found myself on my own at the front. The team made a great job of the pit stop, which sealed the win for me. The last two races are going to be interesting. I won at Estoril last year, and I hope to perform well again this time around."
Michael Rossi: "The start was chaotic. I was being bumped from all sides! To finish second today was a decent result compared to our performances in qualifying and in race 1. We weren't good enough to challenge for victory here. I like the Estoril circuit and I'll be hoping to get back to winning ways there."
Matthieu Cheruy: "The start was tough. I owe this podium finish to my team, who made a perfect job of the pit stop. It's nice to be back on the podium."