Lahaye crowned champion! Matthieu Lahaye has become the first driver to claim a title in this year's World Series by Renault. The Frenchman has won the Junior classification of the Eurocup Megane Trophy, with one...
Lahaye crowned champion!
Matthieu Lahaye has become the first driver to claim a title in this year's World Series by Renault. The Frenchman has won the Junior classification of the Eurocup Megane Trophy, with one round in Barcelona still to go. Thanks to Bruce Lorgere-Roux, Tech 1 Racing has also strengthened its grip on the teams' championship.
Having won three out of the last four races, Matthieu Lahaye came to Le Mans with some big ideas: to continue his winning streak and close down Jaap Van Lagen at the head of the drivers' championship. Bruce Lorgere-Roux, who comes from Caen, was also practically driving on home territory and the Frenchman was eager to claim his first win.
On Friday, the free practice sessions took place in mixed conditions: light rain in the morning, good weather in the early afternoon, and heavy storms at the end of the day! The Tech 1 Racing drivers worked hard to find appropriate set-ups for the different conditions, but they hoped for better weather in qualifying^Å
Their hopes were fulfilled, as on Saturday morning the track was dry. Bruce Lorgere-Roux had a good qualifying session, fighting for pole position with Jean-Philippe Dayraut. In the end, Bruce claimed second on the grid for race one and pole for race two. Matthieu found it a little harder to get into the groove and was unable to maintain his record of four consecutive pole positions. The Frenchman eventually had to settle for 7th and 5th.
The weather changed again in the afternoon, with heavy rain soaking the track just a few minutes before the race start. The Tech 1 Racing drivers, like most of the field, chose to start on full wet tyres. At the first corner several cars collided in front of Matthieu, who was forced to stop to avoid them. When he got going again, he found himself dead last! As the race developed, the track dried out. Bruce was third at the beginning of the race, but could not fend off the cars on slicks once the track was dry. He ended up 7th, while Matthieu's consolation prize was one point for setting the fastest race lap.
Race two was held in bright sunshine on Sunday afternoon, in front of more than 90,000 spectators. Throughout the entire weekend, no fewer than 160,000 fans turned out to watch this huge celebration of motor sport. When the lights went to green, Bruce took advantage of his pole position to claim the lead. Behind him, Matthieu managed to avoid the traditional first corner accident and slotted into 4th place. After a few laps behind the safety car, the action re-started. But this time it was Bruce who took a trip into the gravel trap! Jean-Philippe Dayraut moved easily into the lead and maintained it to the end, while Matthieu was able to claim second. Bruce was soon back in the hunt and fighting fiercely with Cesar Campanico for the final podium spot!
With two Tech 1 drivers on the podium, team boss Simon Abadie was satisfied. "We've achieved our primary objective of securing the Junior championship for Matthieu," he said. "We have had to forego a win this weekend, but at least we have once more proved that we can fight at the top. In Barcelona we will be challenging for the Teams' championship, second place in the Juniors with Bruce, and why not the drivers' championship for Matthieu as well - if things go well for us?"
-credit: tech 1 racing