Belgians ready to pounce Despite the huge contingent of French drivers, the Belgians are highly determined to hold their own. The driver pairings of Francois Duval/Bas Leinders, Vincent Vosse/Gregory Franchi, Renaud Kuppens/Geoffroy Horion, and...
Belgians ready to pounce
Despite the huge contingent of French drivers, the Belgians are highly determined to hold their own. The driver pairings of Francois Duval/Bas Leinders, Vincent Vosse/Gregory Franchi, Renaud Kuppens/Geoffroy Horion, and Maxime Martin/Maxime Soulet are all extremely determined to hear the Belgian national anthem ring out on the podium!
The fans' favourite thanks to the on-track excitement the category serves up, the Megane Trophy is this year adopting an Endurance racing format. Each 2007 Eurocup meeting will consist of two forty-minute races with one or two drivers per car. For the time being, the majority of the field is made up of individual drivers. But in Zolder, four cars in the line-up have two-driver teams and they are all Belgian!
Francois Duval and Bas Leinders have accepted Renault Sport's invitation to take part and will share driving responsibilities behind the wheel of the no. 99 Megane. The winner of the 2005 Australian Rally will therefore team up with the former Minardi F1 test driver. A media-friendly duo, to say the least, brought together for a bit of fun and as a one-off but one which will undoubtedly take the racing pretty seriously!
Recently confirmed with Equipe Verschuur, the team that provided last year's champion Jaap van Lagen, is the driver pairing of Vincent Vosse/Gregory Franchi. These two will take part in the entire season and are obviously among the contenders for the title.
Boutsen Energy Racing has the two other Belgian driver pairings. One offers experience with Renaud Kuppens and Horion Geoffroy, the other the promise of youth with Maxime Martin and Maxime Soulet, who are also competing in the Junior category.
Up against this impressive fleet of local drivers, the French are very well represented. Defending Junior champion Matthieu Lahaye will this year be aiming to win the overall title, still with Tech 1 Racing. The team has three other cars driven by Dimitri Enjalbert, Junior champion in the 2006 French Clio Cup, the Portuguese driver Pedro Petiz and Sebastien Dhouailly. These four drivers are all competing in the Junior category.
Meanwhile, Ludovic Badey has some unfinished business to attend to. He will be looking to repeat the excellent start he made to the season in 2006, but this time around avoid the disastrous quad accident which brought last year's racing to a premature end. The TDS team has expanded its line-up by entering two other cars for the Junior Matthieu Cheruy and the "gentleman driver", Jean-Philippe Madonia.
Team Lompech Sport is also setting their sights higher with the arrival of Fabrice Walfisch. The team's second car will be driven by Jean-Charles Miginiac.
Champion two years ago with Jan Heylen, the Racing for Belgium team has recruited two Juniors from Formula Renault 2.0: Carlo van Dam, fourth in the 2006 Eurocup, and Mickael Rossi.
The drivers in neighbouring Dutch team Equipe Verschuur are also determined to do well at Zolder. Winner of the German Clio Cup last year, Mike Verschuur the son of Franz takes a step up in category, like fellow Clio Cup winner Enjalbert. A consistent improver last year, Bernhard Ten Brinke will be looking to make his mark, as will newcomer Wim Beelen.
Other countries which will be well represented in this 2007 Eurocup include Italy, with Giuseppe Ciro and Diego Romanini (Oregon Team), Switzerland with Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance), Austria with Andreas Mayerl (Sesterheim Racing) and Spain with Rafael Unzurrunzaga (Blue Jumeirah Team).