Tactics pay dividends for Meichtry In a fitting finale to the opening meeting of the World Series by Renault, which has been attended by 98,000 motorsport enthusiasts, the Eurocup MÃ©gane Trophy drivers put on a breathtaking show. Thanks to ...
Tactics pay dividends for Meichtry
In a fitting finale to the opening meeting of the World Series by Renault, which has been attended by 98,000 motorsport enthusiasts, the Eurocup Mégane Trophy drivers put on a breathtaking show. Thanks to his astute strategy, Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) was able to claim his first race win ahead of Dimitri Enjalbert and Pedro Petiz (Tech 1 Racing).
There were two rookies on the front row of the grid for the second race of the weekend: Dimitri Enjalbert and Mike Verschuur. Behind them on the second row were Geoffroy Horion and Vincent Vosse. Enjalbert got off to the best start, followed by Verschuur, Horion and Petiz, who passed Vosse on the first corner. A collision between Verschuur and Horion as they battled for position cost them a lot of time. The first lap proved fatal for similar reasons for Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport), Michaël Rossi (Racing for Belgium) and Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing). François Duval, Matthieu Cheruy and Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS) were also forced to retire.
The safety car was called out and the field was closed up. Enjalbert was followed by Petiz, Ten Brinke, Vosse, Badey, Martin, Dhouailly, Van Dam, Meichtry and Ciro. Oregon Team took a gamble by bringing Ciro and Romanini into the pits on lap 4. Ralph Meichtry and Jean-Charles Miginiac followed suit one lap later. At that point, there were 28 minutes of racing remaining: would they have enough fuel to reach the finish line?
The race resumed after lap 6. Enjalbert and Petiz immediately opened up a gap over the chasing pack of Ten Brinke, Vosse, Badey, Martin and Dhouailly. Dhouailly chose to stop at the halfway point, while Badey and Rossi refuelled after lap 10.
Petiz made his stop on lap 11, leaving Enjalbert, Ten Brinke and Vosse out in front. At this point, Meichtry and Ciro were lying in sixth and seventh places. But, with the two drivers less than 20 seconds behind the leader, their strategy was working a treat! Bernhard Ten Brinke took the lead as Enjalbert made his pit stop. But thanks to a lightning-fast stop of only 8.5 seconds, Dimitri left the pits in front of his teammate Petiz! Meanwhile, Vosse had taken the lead, passing Verschuur, who made his stop after lap 14.
With ten minutes to go, Vosse finally stopped to hand over to Franchi. Ralph Meichtry and Giuseppe Ciro took the top two spots after lap 18, when Maxime Martin came into the pits. Enjalbert and Petiz were third and fourth respectively, ahead of Bernhard Ten Brinke and Diego Romanini, another man to benefit from Oregon Team's tactics!
On the penultimate lap, Dimitri Enjalbert closed in on Ciro and snatched second spot from him. The Italian was then overtaken by Pedro Petiz in the closing stages. Similarly, Romanini could not hold off Kuppens and Dhouailly. Ralph Meichtry: "Winning my first race is a great moment, even if I am still disappointed not to have made the podium yesterday. This is a victory for the team, who made a great job of the pit stop."
Dimitri Enjalbert: «I got away to a good start and led for a large part of the race. Ralph passed me while I was in the pits and I can't be totally satisfied with the result, even if the Junior standings are my main objective."
Pedro Petiz: "It was a good race, particularly as I didn't put on fresh tyres. We've still got some work to do on our pit stops, but overall it's been a good weekend for us. It's great to be leaving here as championship leader."