The Pedro Show Pedro Petiz and Dimitri Enjalbert pulled off a double for the Tech 1 Racing team in the opening race of the Eurocup Megane Trophy 2007. Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) showed further evidence of his progress with his first...
The Pedro Show
Pedro Petiz and Dimitri Enjalbert pulled off a double for the Tech 1 Racing team in the opening race of the Eurocup Megane Trophy 2007. Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) showed further evidence of his progress with his first podium finish in the category. This endurance' race, cut a few minutes short after Gregory Franchi crashed off, was full of suspense.
The first race of the season saw Petiz and Enjalbert sitting side by side on the front row of the grid in their Tech 1 Meganes. Vincent Vosse took the wheel of car number 72, with Renaud Kuppens (5th) in number 10, Maxime Soulet (13th) in number 11 and Bas Leinders in number 99 (14th). Petiz held on to his initial advantage. Looking in excellent form, Renaud Kuppens sped past Mike Verschuur at the start and was quickly on the tail of Vincent Vosse.
Mike Verschuur had the worst start: ninth at the end of the first lap, he collided with Matthieu Cheruy at the beginning of the second and crashed into the safety barrier. His teammate Wim Beelem also crashed off into the gravel. The safety car then came out to allow the race marshals to do their work. The top ten were as follows: Petiz, Enjalbert, Vosse, Kuppens, Rossi, Lahaye, Ten Brinke, Dhouailly, Verschuur and Cheruy.
The race resumed at the end of lap five. and Petiz and Enjalbert immediately opened up a gap on Vosse, Kuppens and Rossi. During the seventh lap, Rossi moved up to third ahead of Kuppens, Lahaye, Ten Brinke, Dhouailly and Vosse. Having started in tenth position, Lahaye worked his way up the field, taking fourth spot from Kuppens before the halfway point.
Out of the leaders, Sebastien Dhouailly and Bernhard Ten Brinke were the first to make a refueling stop. Enjalbert stopped after 12 laps. The Frenchman was off again 24 seconds later. Petiz and Lahaye left it one lap longer. The Portuguese driver refueled in 26''1, but he was still ahead of Enjalbert when he left the pits. The two cars were side-by-side, but Pedro managed to hold onto his slender advantage!
Having taken the lead, Maxime Soulet eventually made his stop 12 seconds from the end, leaving Ralph Meichtry at the head of the field, followed by Petiz, Enjalbert and Ten Brinke, who made an excellent job of his refueling stop. Further back, Giuseppe Ciro, Carlo van Dam and Francois Duval were involved in an epic struggle for 14th place!
With seven minutes remaining,, Gregory Franchi crashed out violently. The track was covered in debris, and the race was red-flagged, with the standings based on the drivers' positions after the 17th lap. Pedro Petiz thus notched up his second race win in the Eurocup Megane Trophy, with his teammate Dimitri Enjalbert in second and Bernhard Ten Brinke in third. Despite his crash, Franchi took fifth place along with his partner Vosse, behind fourth-placed Cheruy. Despite going through the race relatively unnoticed, Ludovic Badey (TDS) and Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech) finished sixth and seventh respectively.
Pedro Petiz: "What more could I ask for? I got pole position, won the race and had the best race lap. The car was really fast and I think we're going to have a good season."
Dimitri Enjalbert: "I am very happy to be up on the podium in my first race in a Megane. The race was pretty easy, I nearly overtook Pedro after refueling but I didn't take any risks by attempting the impossible."
Bernhard Ten Brinke: "I had a good start and I was fourth after the first bend. Then I made a mistake, which cost me a few places. The car was good and thanks to the team's excellent refueling stop I was able to claw my way back a bit."