Three titles in sight-- By claiming his third win of the year at Magny-Cours, Pedro Petiz has taken another step towards the Eurocup Megane Trophy drivers title and also the junior title. At the same time, Tech 1 ...
Three titles in sight--
By claiming his third win of the year at Magny-Cours, Pedro Petiz has taken another step towards the Eurocup Megane Trophy drivers title and also the junior title. At the same time, Tech 1 Racing is just a few points away from sealing its second consecutive teams title--
Tech 1 Racing had high hopes for drivers Dimitri Enjalbert, Matthieu Lahaye and Sebastien Dhouailly to shine on home territory at the Magny Cours race, which came two weeks after the previous round at Donington Park. A pre-event group test allowed the Toulouse-based squad to hunt for the combination of qualifying speed and race consistency, by refining the settings that have worked well from the start of the season.
Pedro Petiz set second-fastest time in free practice but Dimitri Enjalbert was faster than him in qualifying, with fourth and second positions for the two races. Pedro was seventh and fourth, while Matthieu took a pair of eighth positions. Sebastien Dhouailly had to make do with a pair of 16th places.
On Saturday afternoon, rain was falling at the start of an incident-packed race. At the end of lap one, Dimitri and Pedro had made up a place while Matthieu held onto his position. Sebastien was feeling confident in the rain, and had already worked his way up into the top 10!
During the second lap, Pedro accidentally touched Rossi. The Tech 1 driver was able to continue, minus his Megane's front bodywork. The championship leader was on fantastic form in the tough conditions to close up on the leader, Badey, before taking over the top spot with just four laps to go. Sebastien also put in an excellent performance to climb up to third place. By contrast, things did not go quite as well for Dimitri -- who received two penalties for speeding in the pit lane. On the penultimate lap, Matthieu was caught out and lost his seventh place. The final drama came on the last lap, when Sebastien made a huge effort to finish fifth. After the race, Pedro was penalized 25 seconds for his incident with Rossi. That penalty took away his win, but it also allowed Sebastien and Dimitri to finish fourth and fifth.
The following day, the track stayed dry for the second big showdown of the weekend. At the end of lap one the safety car came out to deal with a pile-up that involved Matthieu Lahaye. In the meantime, Pedro Petiz had already taken second place from Dimitri Enjalbert. When the safety car came in, the battle between Petiz and Enjalbert resumed at full strength -- until the safety car came out once more. All the drivers took advantage of the situation to come in for a fuel stop.
At the third re-start, Enjalbert saw his chances of victory disappear when he was tapped into a spin by Badey under braking for the Adelaide hairpin. Pedro Petiz was stuck in second behind Van Dam, but he eventually found a gap and treated the spectators to a fantastic overtaking move! Dimitri recovered well to finish fourth, while Sebastien Dhouailly unfortunately had to retire halfway through the race.
These performances have allowed Tech 1 Racing and its drivers to move a little bit closer to the titles -- which could be decided at the Estoril round. Simon Abadie concluded: "Apart from Dimitri, none of our other three drivers were able to exploit their full potential in qualifying. That's a pity, as we gave them an extremely competitive car. I thought that Pedro's penalty after the first race was very harsh, but in any case he proved himself to be in a class of his own. Dimitri would also have been a worthy winner, but those two mistakes ruined his chances. I'm very pleased though by the progress that Sebastien has made once again. We took a risky pit stop strategy in race one and he was so nearly on the podium: whichever way you look at it his performance was fantastic. Things were slightly more difficult for Matthieu, as he didn't score any points this weekend. Now he's got four races left to finish on the provisional championship podium!"
-credit: tech 1 racing