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Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) held off Mirko Bortolotti (Oregon Team) to claim a brilliant fourth victory and keep the Eurocup Megane Trophy title race alive a little longer. The Dutchman, however, could not prevent Oregon Team claiming the Teams' title for a third straight year, with Mirko Bortolotti and Kevin Gilardoni (both Oregon Team) finishing on the podium at Paul Ricard.

After fighting it out with Mike Verschuur in qualifying, Mirko Bortolotti prevailed with a time of 2:10.862 to secure his tenth pole of the season. The pair started the race ahead of Max Braams (Las Moras by Equipe Verschuur), Kevin Gilardoni and Steven Palette (Team Lompech Sport).

Right from the start, Mike Verschuur piled pressure on Mirko Bortolotti but could not find a way past. The Dutchman, who needed to finish ahead of Bortolotti to keep his slim title hopes alive, was unrelenting and pushed the Italian to the limit. Behind them, Max Braams started badly to allow Kevin Gilardoni into third place, followed by Steven Palette and Erik Janis (Gravity Charouz).

The front seven drivers slipstreamed to good effect and were separated by four seconds before the first round of refuelling stops. On lap 11, Mike Verschuur made a mistake to allow Kevin Gilardoni to sneak past. But Verschuur was not down for long, and regained his position the following lap. The order of the front three remained unchanged after the pitstops were complete.

On the penultimate lap, Mirko Bortolotti lost his lead to Mike Verschuur after a superb battle with the Dutchman. Verschuur then held on to claim his fourth victory of the season, followed by Bortolotti and Kevin Gilardoni, whom Erik Janis had pushed all the way to the finish line. The presence of Bortolotti and Gilardoni on the podium was enough to seal the Teams’ title for Oregon Team.

Kelvin Snoeks came fifth, ahead of Max Braams, Jelle Beelen (Equipe Verschuur) and Toni Forne (Gravity Charouz), with Forne the best-placed gentleman driver. Jeroen Schothorst (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) and Marguerite Laffite (Oregon Team) filled the remaining points places.

What they said

Mike Verschuur: "My car was quick in qualifying, but Mirko started at the front. In the race, Kevin [Gilardoni] passed me briefly but I responded well and the car flew from there. My battle with Mirko [Bortolotti] must have been entertaining for the spectators. I enjoyed it a lot, especially as I won!"

Mirko Bortolotti: "I produced a perfect lap in qualifying, but Mike’s time made me realise that it wasn’t going to be an easy race. I tried to keep the lead for as long as possible. It’s important to win the Teams’ title, as we can now focus on the Drivers’ championship."

Kevin Gilardoni: "Congratulations to Mike and Mirko for the race they had. I was competitive, but not competitive enough to get past them. I still need to work on the set-ups to keep myself in the mix and finally get that first victory. I’ve still got three chances left to do it!"

Eurocup Megane Trophy – provisional championship standings: 1. M. Bortolotti 235; 2. M. Verschuur 168; 3. K. Gilardoni 121; 4. K. Snoeks 117; 5. E. Janis 109 [...]

  • Results to be confirmed, pending post-race technical inspections

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 28 September 2013
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