A second pole for Marc and Jeffrey Marc Benz (Iris Racing) and Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry Boutsen Racing) each took their second pole position of the season. The Swiss driver will start alongside Simon Abadie (Tech 1 Racing) in this evening's...
A second pole for Marc and Jeffrey
Marc Benz (Iris Racing) and Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry Boutsen Racing) each took their second pole position of the season. The Swiss driver will start alongside Simon Abadie (Tech 1 Racing) in this evening's first race. Marc will also start from the front row in tomorrow's second race. The performances of favourites Heylen, Derlot and Badey didn't quite live up to expectations.
Jiri Janak dominated the start of the session for all the wrong reasons when he made a costly mistake one lap into proceedings and went off as a result. Renaud Derlot (TP Compétition) set the time for the others to beat and they did just that, as he was quickly overtaken by Jeffrey Van Hooydonk (Thierry Boutsen Racing), Simon Abadie (Tech 1 Racing) and Frédéric Gabillon (Team Lompech Sport). Derlot then managed to take 4th place back from Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing). At the end of the session, the times of all the drivers, except for Kuppens and Janak, were ruled out due to having been set while the yellow flag was out. The driver order was completely changed, as Simon Abadie inherited the best time, ahead of Gabillon, Kuppens, Van Hooydonk and Mike Parisy (Oregon Team).
Just after the half-way stage of the group B session, Mathieu Lahaye (Tech 1 Racing) moved to the top of the timesheets. The young French driver had a good lead over Angel Burgueño (Epsilon Euskadi) and Pedro Petiz (Oregon Team). But Marc Benz (Iris Racing) took the best time, before then spinning off. Jan Heylen (Racing for Belgium) and Ludovic Badey (Pouchelon Racing) were not ready to lay down arms, but they were struggling to find the right line. Benz thus stayed in front, followed by Lahaye, Petiz, Heylen and César Campaniço (Racing for Belgium). The Swiss driver thus picked up his second pole of the season!
The Juniors were really up for it: Marc Benz and Pedro Petiz occupied the top two spots at the session's half-way stage. But none of the drivers had dipped under the two-minute mark: the driver order was far from finalized! Things were going less well for the "gentlemen drivers": Jean-Yves Mallat (TP Compétition) span his car, while Pascal Ballay (Energy Racing) took a somewhat unplanned diversion into the sand. Benz was improving every time he completed a lap. The young Swiss driver was ahead of Jan Heylen and Ludovic Badey. All of these drivers were bunched up in order to minimize air drag by lapping in each other's slipstream. Just as the chequered flag was brought out, Angel Burgueño pushed Badey back into 4th position.
Driving on home territory, Nicola Gianniberti (Oregon Team) was determined to do well. The former Karting World Champion took control of the second session, in front of Renaud Kuppens and Mike Parisy. But Kuppens and Abadie then relegated the Italian to 3rd position. Kuppens then span and had the best time snatched from under his nose by his teammate and fellow countryman Jeffrey Van Hooydonk! The driver order was finalized for good, when Mathieu Cheruy ran into the gravel and remained stuck there, with one minute to go: no-one could improve their time whilst the yellow flag was out.