Enjalbert on a wave During two days of collective testing, the competitors in Eurocup Megane Trophy had the pleasure of testing New Megane Trophy on a wet Paul Ricard HTTT circuit. As in Barcelona, Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing) gave...
Enjalbert on a wave
During two days of collective testing, the competitors in Eurocup Megane Trophy had the pleasure of testing New Megane Trophy on a wet Paul Ricard HTTT circuit. As in Barcelona, Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing) gave the best performance of the day, ahead of Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing) and Nick Catsburg (Tech 1 Racing).
Just a few days after the first collective testing session of the season, the competitors in Eurocup Megane Trophy headed for the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit for the last session before the curtain is raised on the new season.
The teams and drivers were met by torrential rain on Wednesday morning. For the first time, the teams would test New Megane Trophy on a wet track and on new pattern tyres developed by Michelin.
The first session was marked by several spins, including Pierre Hirschi (Oregon Team), Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport) and Wim Beelen (Equipe Verschuur). However, before he crashed out at the Signe curve, Fabrice Walfisch set the best time of the morning ahead of Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Verschuur) and Jonathan Hirschi.
The dilemma at the start of the afternoon session: the track was not wet enough for wet tyres and not dry enough for slicks! The result was the majority of drivers wisely biding their time in the pits, waiting for the conditions to change. The rain came back in force, without a doubt, and the day would finish in the wet. Equipped with new wet weather tyres, in contrast to the morning, Dimitri Enjalbert showed himself to be the quickest. He took the lead in front of Tech 1 Racing's Nick Catsburg, Matthieu Cheruy and Antony Tardieu.
On Thursday morning, the track was still wet but it had stopped raining. From the start, Dimitri Enjalbert held the top of the time sheet. As the minutes passed, the track conditions improved, but no one had what it took to challenge Enjalbert's time. For many, the morning was dedicated to simulating race conditions.
At the end of the morning, the racing line was dry and the slicks finally put in an appearance. The name of the game was to try and set a fastest lap at the last possible moment. Enjalbert once again had the measure of the competition. With a time of 1'32"655, he was slightly faster than Hirschi, Catsburg, Verschuur Autosport's Hoevert Vos and Jean-Philippe Madonia of TDS Racing.
The rain returned once more in the afternoon. But it wasn't possible to improve the times. Nick Catsburg drove the fastest lap of the afternoon ahead of Jonathan Hirschi. However, in a replay of events in Barcelona, Dimitri Enjalbert left Paul Ricard HTTT having claimed the fastest time.
Dimitri Enjalbert: "These two days of testing have been complicated; the conditions kept changing so fast. The first day I couldn't work out why I wasn't on the pace. When I went onto the new wet weather tyres, it all became clear! They're much quicker, even if you need to control the way they change during the race."
Jonathan Hirschi: "It's difficult to draw a conclusion on the result of these sessions. I think Dimitri Enjalbert is favourite this season. He was making better use of the new tyres. However, at TDS, we're very quick on old tyres. We'll be great in the races. The aerodynamic setup really lets you get stuck into the fast corners, even in the rain!"