French domination! Jean-Philippe Dayraut won the second Eurocup Megane Trophy race to round off a perfect series of results for the French drivers started by Salignon and Groppi. The Epsilon Euskadi driver finished ahead of another two...
Jean-Philippe Dayraut won the second Eurocup Megane Trophy race to round off a perfect series of results for the French drivers started by Salignon and Groppi. The Epsilon Euskadi driver finished ahead of another two Frenchmen, Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) and Ludovic Badey (TDS). This opening round of the 2006 World Series by Renault was a huge success, drawing a total of 87,000 fans.
Pole position holder Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur) got off to the best start and led the field into the first bend. He pulled clear of second-placed Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon Euskadi) and Luigi Ferrara (Oregon Team) in third. Ferrara was pressed by Ludovic Badey (TDS), who tried to get past on braking as they entered a chicane. The two cars collided, resulting in a spin for Ferrara.
At the end of the first lap, there was a collision in the main field between Mathieu Cheruy (Energy Racing) and Miguel Freitas (Racing for Belgium). Cheruy also clipped the Megane of Andreas Mayerl (Sesterheim Racing).
At the front, Dayraut moved past Van Lagen just before the safety car was brought out at the end of lap 2. These two were followed by Ludovic Badey, Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing), James Kirkpatrick (Epsilon Euskadi), Steve Abold (Roma Team Baumgartner), Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium) and Justin Keen (TP Competition).
The race resumed after five laps. Dayraut was controlling proceedings perfectly, whilst Van Lagen found himself under pressure from Badey and Lahaye. Lahaye managed to grab 3rd place. Badey then had to hold off the attentions of Kirkpatrick! In the second half of the top 10, Campanico and Jeroen Reintjens (Equipe Verschuur) got past Abold. Keen was in 9th, in front of Frederic Gabillon (Racing Kart Team).
While Dayraut increased his lead, Matthieu Lahaye produced a magnificent overtaking manoeuvre to get past Jaap Van Lagen. Then the Dutch driver picked up a drive through penalty, falling out of the reckoning. The duel between Badey and Kirkpatrick went on unabated, destined to be decided by how each driver dealt with the backmarkers ahead. Cesar Campanico moved up into 5th place ahead of Bernhard Ten Brinke and Jeroen Reintjens. Keen, Abold and Coekelbergs made it into the top 10 after the retirement of Frederic Gabillon (Team Lompech).
The closing laps saw a non-stop battle between Campanico and Ten Brinke. The Dutchman moved past the Portuguese driver, before then climbing all over the back of Kirkpatrick. The Englishman held him off, but events ultimately went the way of Campanico, who managed to snatch 5th position on the final lap! Justin Keen took 7th place ahead of Jaap Van Lagen, who fought back well at the end of the race. Massimiliano Fantini (Oregon Team) and Wim Coekelbergs (Racing for Belgium) also made it into the points.
In the Junior category, Matthieu Lahaye claimed a second win, beating Luigi Ferrara and Pedro Petiz (Iris Racing) into second and third, respectively.
Jean-Philippe Dayraut: "This is a fine comeback from the disappointment of yesterday's race, when I made a minor mistake. I am the leader of the Eurocup at the end of the weekend, which was my aim before coming here."
Matthieu Lahaye: "It's very satisfying to finish on the podium after the problems we had on Friday. The race conditions were difficult but we finished very well."
Ludovic Badey: "We haven't managed get the right balance on the car all weekend. So, two podium finishes are entirely satisfactory under such circumstances."