Stefano Comini in the frame Stefano Comini (Oregon Team), newcomer to this discipline, demonstrated in collective testing today at Spa-Francorchamps, that he will be a stiff competitor to beat this season in Eurocup Megane Trophy. But the ...
Stefano Comini in the frame
Stefano Comini (Oregon Team), newcomer to this discipline, demonstrated in collective testing today at Spa-Francorchamps, that he will be a stiff competitor to beat this season in Eurocup Megane Trophy. But the Swiss driver will have to look out for the likes of Nick Catsburg (TDS Racing), Bas Schothorst (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) and Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing). The favourites are all there, and the season looks like it could be a very open battle.
Eurocup Megane Trophy teams and drivers met up Friday morning at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit for their kick-off round of the season. After last meeting for winter testing at Motorland Aragon then Valencia, the 22 drivers now pit their talent against a motor racing monument, in the shape of this hallowed circuit, loved by drivers and enthusiasts alike.
From the first seconds of collective testing, the much-awaited duel between Dimitri Enjalbert and Nick Catsburg seemed to take shape. The French driver was first to chalk up a fast time, but the flying Dutchman hit back without hesitation to sit comfortable at the top of the leaderboard. The TDS Racing driver continued to improve and with a lap time of 2'28''258, was well ahead of Bas Shothorst, Nicolo Nalio (Oregon Team) and Dimitri Enjalbert.
For most of the drivers, this first session is above all a good opportunity to get back in the groove. Nick Catsburg is clearly already in full possession of his faculties though. At the end of the session, he upped the tempo again to pull out a 2'27''089 lap, finishing the morning session in first place, ahead of his teammate Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS Racing). Newcomer to the discipline, Nicollo Nalio rounded up the Top 3.
In the afternoon, all the drivers up the pace, though it's still Nick Catsburg who leads. The session was interrupted for long minutes when Steven Gijsen (Equipe Verschuur) crashed out. When the session restarted, Catsburg's rivals hit back. Bas Schothorst grabbed first place, with a lap time of 2'27''279, then Stefano Comini took over with 2'27''027, which proved to be the best absolute time of the day. At just 20, the young Swiss driver from the ranks of Formula Renault 2.0 has already got to grips with the Megane Trophy. He finishes first ahead of Nick Catsburg, Bas Schothorst and Dimitri Enjalbert. Jean-Philippe Madonia puts in the best performance of the Gentlemen Drivers.
Stefano Comini: "I didn't necessarily expect to be sitting in first place tonight. Now it's important to relativise this result - today is not that important in fact. I feel comfortable behind the wheel of the Megane Trophy. I'd already driven here in Formula Renault 2.0, but of course it's very different with Megane Trophy, even if the car is very effective. They're forecasting rain for this weekend. It will be a challenge for me, because I've never driven a touring car in the wet."
Nick Catsburg: "It's a bit of a shame because my best time was cancelled out after I cut a corner in my third lap. These are test sessions, so they're intending for testing things We're very competitive and I feel really good as a part of this team. My aim is to win both races this weekend. That may seem a bit optimistic, but we today showed that we're capable of it."
Bas Schothorst: "I still have a lot to learn with this car. This morning I ran with old tyres, just to find out how the Megane Trophy behaves on this wonderful circuit. Here, the name of the game is to get everything in the right order, in the same lap! I'm happy with my place. We need to go step by step, but we have the potential to pull off some good performances this year."