EU Megane: Series Nurburgring Friday test notes

TDS take control TDS team-mates Michael Rossi and Ludovic Badey left their mark on today's Eurocup Megane Trophy collective test session at the Nurburgring. A fiercely competitive weekend of racing looks likely, with Tech 1 Racing's and Thierry...

TDS take control

TDS team-mates Michael Rossi and Ludovic Badey left their mark on today's Eurocup Megane Trophy collective test session at the Nurburgring. A fiercely competitive weekend of racing looks likely, with Tech 1 Racing's and Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing's drivers hot on their heels!

Dimitri Enjalbert (Tech 1 Racing) wasted no time at all in laying down the gauntlet. As soon as the session got underway, the Tech 1 Racing driver who currently lies third in the Eurocup Megane Trophy standings went straight to the top of the timesheets. With a time of 2'07''703, he stayed there throughout the session. He even managed to improve his time in the closing minutes and ended the morning with a time of 2'07''391.

Initially, Ludovic Badey (TDS) managed to get closest to Enjalbert on his return to the category. The Frenchman's performance proved that he is still comfortable behind the wheel of a Megane Trophy, even though it had been a while since he had last driven the car. "Even though I am racing in another category this year, I really wanted to take part in at least one Megane race", explained Ludovic Badey. "I needed a few laps to get my bearings back but overall, I am pleased with my time. Now, I'll have to apply myself to make the most of the new tyres. If in the race I see that Michael Rossi is quicker than me, obviously I won't push it. But if I get an opportunity, then I'll grab it."

At the end of the session, Jonathan Hirschi (Tech 1 Racing) sneaked into second between Enjalbert and Badey, whilst championship leader Michael Rossi could only finish fifth behind another Tech 1 Racing driver, Matthieu Cheruy. The supremacy of Tech 1 Racing and TDS was total in this first session, as Maxime Martin (Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing) was the first driver to feature who was not from one of these teams.

In the afternoon session, it was some time before the drivers got close to the times set in the morning session. Ludovic Badey was the first to dip under the 2'08 mark, and then Dimitri Enjalbert moved back up into first position.

And then Michael Rossi stepped into the fray! He set the best time of the day with a lap time of 2'07''254. At the end of the session, Rossi went back out onto the track, as did many other drivers. Pretty much everyone improved their time but nobody could dislodge the Eurocup Megane Trophy leader from top spot. He then improved his time once again to end the day in the lead with a time of 2'06''263.

"This morning, I had a few technical problems. Nothing too serious, but we had to find a solution quickly", explained Rossi. "Things returned to normal this afternoon. I've got a very consistent and very competitive car. We really managed to make the most of the new tyres, which isn't always easy. We've started the weekend well, but we still have plenty to do. It's also been really positive to be able to have a team-mate like Ludovic Badey alongside me, who can join in the battle to win the races."

No doubt that the TDS drivers are in form, as Badey ended the day in second position. The two men were the only drivers to dip under the 2'07'' mark today.

Third-placed Dimitri Enjalbert, who finished ahead of Jonathan Hirschi and David Dermont (Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing), still believes he has a chance to win this weekend. "After completing a lot of laps on old tyres, I didn't make the most of my new tyres. We still have a bit of work to do to get close to the TDS drivers. But Matthieu Cheruy, Jonathan Hirschi and I are going to work together on what we've learned. I am sure we will be able to improve our performances. This weekend is critical for me in terms of the title."

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Thierry Boutsen , Ludovic Badey , Dimitri Enjalbert , Maxime Martin , Matthieu Cheruy , David Dermont , Michael Rossi , Jonathan Hirschi