Showdown across the Bosporus More than six weeks after the season started in Zolder, the Eurocup Megane Trophy competitors head to Istanbul for the championship's second round. The winners in Belgium, Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon Euskadi) and...
Showdown across the Bosporus
More than six weeks after the season started in Zolder, the Eurocup Megane Trophy competitors head to Istanbul for the championship's second round. The winners in Belgium, Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Epsilon Euskadi) and Jaap Van Lagen (Equipe Verschuur) are neck and neck with Ludovic Badey (TDS) and Matthieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) at the top of the overall standings. But there other drivers who we can also expect to be up there with the leaders, starting this weekend.
For the Eurocup Megane Trophy drivers and teams, getting to grips with the Istanbul Park circuit will be the weekend's first challenge. Jaap Van Lagen, also competing in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 with Comtec Racing, will undoubtedly be quick to get a feel for the Turkish circuit. Ludovic Badey, an occasional starter in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 races, is also likely to adapt very quickly.
Having said that, the example of Jean-Philippe Dayraut, who won in Zolder on a circuit on which he had not previously raced, proves that aggression and talent can compensate for a lack of experience.
After disappointing performances in Zolder, Cesar Campanico (Racing for Belgium), Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing) and Justin Keen (TP Competition) will certainly be keen to be up there with the leaders. An objective shared by Jeffrey van Hooydonk (Racing for Belgium) and Bruce Lorgere-Roux (Tech 1 Racing), who will both kick off their season in Turkey.
Drivers making their debut in the Eurocup Megane Trophy this season will also be worth watching out for. Massimiliano Fantini (Oregon Team), Steve Abold (Roma Team Baumgartner) and Ralph Meichtry (Race Performance) have all produced some fine performances to date.
In the Junior standings, Matthieu Lahaye will have his work cut out to hold onto his overall lead against drivers who, like him, are not afraid to go for an outright race win. James Kirkpatrick (Epsilon Euskadi) and Luigi Ferrara (Oregon Team) both showed they can be quick at Zolder. Miguel Freitas (Racing for Belgium), Sebastien Dhouailly (Team Lompech) and Mathieu Cheruy (Energy Racing), will however hope to be experience less misfortune that during the first two races!
New qualifying format
The experience of the first meeting has led the Organizing committee to draw up a new qualifying format for the Eurocup Megane Trophy:
- Drivers will be able to complete an unlimited number of laps during a single 30-minute session.
- The drivers' best times will determine the start grid for race 1 and their second best times will determine the start grid for race 2.
- If the marshals are called onto the track, yellow flags will be shown all around the circuit and any lap times set while they are out will not count towards qualifying.
- Any driver adjudged to have (deliberately) caused a yellow flag procedure will have his best time cancelled.
- Any driver that requires outside assistance to get back onto the track may not continue the session.