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Eurocup Mégane Trophy

After taking the lead following a hefty collision with Bas Schothorst (TDS Racing), Albert Costa (Oregon Team) held on to record his third Eurocup Mégane Trophy victory of the season. The win reduces the gap between Costa and championship leader Schothorst from 32 points to 17. Stefano Comini came from second-to-last on the grid to finish in second place, while Kevin Gilardoni (Oregon Team) came third to complete the podium.

Albert Costa stormed to his sixth pole position of the season, while Niccolo Nalio (Oregon Team) and Stefano Comini collided on their first qualifying lap, leaving the pair to start all the way from the back of the grid. At the other end of the field, Albert Costa and Bas Schothorst started on the front row.

Bas Schothorst made the strongest start and took the lead going into the first turn, ahead of Albert Costa, Kelvin Snoeks (TDS Racing) and Kevin Gilardoni. Niccolo Nalio and Stefano Comini, meanwhile began their climb through the field. After three laps, Nalio had moved up to fifth, and Comini had risen to eighth.

The battle for the lead then heated up between Bas Schothorst and Albert Costa. The Spaniard made a move on the Dutch leader and the pair came into contact, but they both survived and, after going wide, Costa was able to get back on Schothorst’s trail straight away. Costa’s second attempt proved successful as he managed to force his way through and take the lead on lap five. The competition for fifth place was every bit as fierce. Niccolo Nalio eventually found an opening and passed Fabien Thuner, with the latter left to contend with Stefano Comini.

The mandatory refuelling stop then brought some order to the race. Kevin Gilardoni was the first to go in as Stefano Comini overtook Fabien Thuner. Albert Costa and Bas Schothorst waited longer before making their detour to the pits. The stop worked perfectly for Costa, who rejoined the race in first place. It was a different story for Bas Schothorst, however, who lost precious seconds before rejoining the race down in fifth, just behind Niccolo Nalio. Stefano Comini, meanwhile, found himself in second, with Kevin Gilardoni in third.

From there, Albert Costa held his nerve to claim his third victory of the season. Stefano Comini and Kevin Gilardoni also enjoyed a comfortable finish, while Niccolo Nalio and Bas Schothorst fought for fourth place right to the chequered flag, with the Italian coming home ahead of the Dutchman. By winning from Stefano Comini and Kevin Gilardoni, Albert Costa gains 15 points on Bas Schothorst and reduces the deficit at the top to 17 points.

What they said

Albert Costa: “I made a bad start. Bas Schothorst went past me, and after that I was torn between the desire to overtake him and the need to remain steady and not lose any points. At first I waited for him to make a mistake, but he didn’t. So I attacked and managed to overtake him. The gap is closing by the race, but it’s still [going to be] very difficult.”

Stefano Comini: “The collision with Niccoli Nalio in qualifying really damaged my car. The Team Lompech Sport crew worked like crazy so that I could take part in this race, and I even lent a hand to help them. I’m happy, then, to dedicate this second place to them.”

Kevin Gilardoni: “I had a bad start and became bogged down, but after that the pace was good. Stefano Comini had a decisive pitstop. I’m starting on pole tomorrow, and if I can adopt the same pace during the race, it could lead to another podium finish – or even better.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 15 September 2012
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