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Eurocup Mégane Trophy

Come rain, wind or shine, Bas Schothorst (TDS Racing) has been consistently brilliant in the early part of this season. And when the situation becomes delicate on the track, his team is there to make the telling difference in the pits. The Dutchman now has four wins from four races, and he could not have dreamed of a better start to the campaign. The Oregon Team pair of Niccolo Nalio and Albert Costa had a race to forget on Saturday, but they recovered today to finish second and third respectively.

Just as he did yesterday, Niccolo Nalio lined up in pole position on the starting grid. He was joined on the front row this time around by Albert Costa. After enduring a disappointing race yesterday, the pair were clearly determined to redeem themselves today. The track was soaking wet for the second race of the weekend, the conditions causing Bruce Lorgeré-Roux (Pujolaracing) to lose control of his car through the Raidillon as he made his way to the grid. The Frenchman’s race, then, was over before it had even begun.

As the rain came down, Niccolo Nalio made the best start, with Albert Costa hesitating. Costa managed to resist the challenge of Bas Schothorst at first, but the Dutchman managed to find an opening before Les Combes to move up into second. Fabien Thuner (Oregon Team) and Kelvin Snoeks (TDS Racing) completed the top five in the early stages.

Out in front, Niccolo Nalio enjoyed better visibility than his opponents and took full advantage to gradually extend his lead. Behind him, Bas Schothorst and Albert Costa remained wheel-to-wheel while the rest of the chasing pack fell ever further behind.

It was not until the mandatory round of refuelling stops that the situation changed. Thanks to some great work by his team and a very quick lap after exiting the pits, Bas Schothorst took the race lead. Niccolo Nalio remained a threat behind him, and was determined to put an end to the Dutchman’s dominance. In third, Albert Costa was by now too far back to challenge the front pair. Nicolas Milan, meanwhile, did excellent work to move up into fourth place, having benefited from Fabien Thuner’s recurrent technical problems.

Once in the lead, Bas Schothorst adjusted his pace to build an unassailable lead over Niccolo Nalio. He held on to pick up his fourth consecutive victory. With a 49-point advantage over Niccolo Nalio in the championship, the Dutchman can already turn his thoughts to managing his lead.

What they said

Bas Schothorst: “Everything’s going well at the moment! The track conditions were very tricky at the start, so we had to be careful. I caught up with Niccolo well, but it wasn’t possible to launch an attack because I couldn’t see anything behind him. Yesterday I nearly lost the race in the pits, but today that’s where I won it, as I came out in first position. I’d like to say thanks to my team – what we’re achieving at the moment is incredible.”

Niccolo Nalio: “With two pole positions, I thought I’d win at least one race this weekend. Yesterday I retired before the race had even started. Today I started the race well, but I could feel that my car was becoming less and less effective. We’ll have to be content with second place.”

Albert Costa: “Considering everything that’s happened to me this weekend, I’m satisfied with this podium finish. I went off in qualifying as my steering wheel wasn’t straight. There’s still a long way to go in the championship, and we have time to change the situation.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 03 June 2012
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