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Eurocup Mégane Trophy

Bas Schothorst (TDS Racing) took an early grip on the Eurocup Megane Trophy championship after securing his second win of the weekend at Motorland Aragon on Sunday. In complete command from start to finish, the TDS Racing driver is a whole 17 points clear of Oregon Team duo Niccolo Nalio and Albert Costa, who lie joint second in the standings after completing the top three for the second day running.

Schothorst picked up from where he left off on Saturday by securing pole for Race 2, where he was joined on the front row by Costa. The Dutchman made a clean start, while Costa and Nalio came together, giving Kelvin Snoeks (TDS Racing) the opportunity to slip into second.

With Schothorst immediately putting daylight between himself and the rest of field, Snoeks sought to hold off the Oregon Team trio of Nalio, Costa and Nicolas Milan, but was powerless to prevent the Italian and the Spaniard from getting a tow in his slipstream down the long straight and easing past him on lap two. Team-mate Milan fared less well, however, an error causing him to tumble down to tenth.

Though his car bore the tell-tale signs of a collision with Snoeks, Costa launched a determined assault on Nalio, the 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion squeezing through only for the Italian to hit back immediately. The tussle for second worked to the advantage of race leader Schothorst, who had stretched his lead after only ten minutes of racing to more than five seconds. Back in the pack, meanwhile, Milan shot back up to seventh after reeling in Enrico Bettera (Oregon Team), Oliver Freymuth (AKF Motorsport) and Jeroen Schothorst (TDS Racing) in quick succession.

Attempting to steal a march on his rivals, Costa was first into the pits to refuel, with Schothorst, Nalio and Snoeks waiting until after the midway point to make their stops. Snoeks did his hopes little good by picking up a drive-through for speeding in the pit lane.

Four seconds clear of Nalio, who himself held a sizeable advantage over Costa after the pit-stops, Schothorst eased home for a notable weekend double, with the Oregon Team twosome swapping the positions they occupied on the podium on Saturday. Kevin Gilardoni (Oregon Team) and Fabien Thuner (Oregon Team) completed the top five, while Jean-Charles Miginiac (Team Lompech Sport) was the first man home in the Gentlemen Drivers’ category.

What they said

Bas Schothorst: “Today’s race was cleaner than yesterday’s, and I made the most of the battles going on behind me to open out a lead. After that it was just a question of holding it together. It’s been a perfect weekend and it puts me in an ideal position ahead of Spa-Francorchamps. These are valuable points because my rivals will have to work hard to close the gap.”

Niccolo Nalio: “I didn’t make a good start and Albert and I touched each other. Obviously it was accidental and fortunately we came out of it ok. Third and second this weekend is a good start in the championship, though it’s frustrating for the team to come away from Motorland without a win.”

Albert Costa: “I got caught at the start, just like yesterday. I went into the first turn far too fast and came within an inch of disaster. I managed to find my rhythm after that but I lost time at the end of the race when the engine kept cutting out. I’m pretty satisfied with my first weekend in the event, and I was well aware that I wasn’t going to dominate things right from the off. We’ve still got work to do but I’m convinced I’ll be topping the podium before too long.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 06 May 2012
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