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Eurocup Mégane Trophy

“Everything comes to he who waits”, a proverb that Bas Schothorst (TDS Racing) can no doubt relate to after following up his first Eurocup Mégane Trophy pole of the season with his maiden win in the series, the first time the chequered flag has not been taken by an Oregon Team driver this season. Grégory Guilvert (Team Lompech Sport) took second and Fabien Thuner (Boutsen Energy Racing) third to complete an unfamiliar top three.

There was something of a sensation in Saturday’s Eurocup Mégane Trophy qualifying when 2011 champion Stefano Comini (Oregon Team) failed to take pole for the first time this season, Bas Schothorst pipping the Swiss to the fastest time. Sitting at the top of the grid for the first time this season, the Dutchman lined up in front of Comini, David Dermont (TDS Racing) and Guilvert.

While Schothorst made the perfect start, Comini yielded second place to the surging Dermont. There was no shortage of action back in the pack either, with several cars taking unorthodox racing lines into turn one, where Schothorst led the way ahead of Dermont, Comini, Niccolo Nalio (Oregon Team), Wim Beelen (TDS Racing), Guilvert and Fabien Thuner (Boutsen Energy Racing).

Laying down a fast pace, the Oregon Team drivers were the first to go on the attack, Comini and Nalio breezing past Dermont on lap two and then giving chase to the race leader, the duo intent on celebrating the driver and team titles secured at Silverstone. Further back, Guilvert was also on the charge, moving up to fourth from sixth in the early laps.

The positions remained unchanged through to the obligatory refuelling stop, with Nalio the first to duck into the pits, and Schothorst, Comini and Guilvert staying out a little longer, though Comini was forced to make a second stop after receiving a drive-through penalty for causing a collision at the start.

Schothorst then stretched his lead over Guilvert to ten seconds, while Beelen, the leader in the Gentlemen Drivers’ standings after Dermont abandoned, sought to hang on to third ahead of Thuner and Jochen Habets (Boutsen Energy Racing). The three-way battle was decided by a shunt, Thuner emerging unscathed to move into third.

There was no stopping Schothorst, however, the Dutchman leading from start to finish to complete a maiden Eurocup Mégane Trophy triumph ahead of Guilvert and Thuner, who just held off a late surge from Comini.

What they said:

Bas Schothorst: “I’ve won at last. It’s been a strange season for me because I honestly could have won three or four races but have had no luck at all. It was a pretty straightforward race because they told me halfway through that Comini had a drive-through. This is a relief for me and I’m expecting to get a few more wins now.”

Grégory Guilvert: “I had a really good car, one that definitely could have won, but Niccolo Nalio nudged me at the start and that completely affected the way my Megane behaved. It’s a shame because I had a real chance out there. I’ll be going for the win tomorrow, though.”

Fabien Thuner: “I haven’t been on the podium since Spa-Francorchamps, so it’s been a while. It was a bit of a free-for-all out there, and I was struggling at the start of the race because we’re not that great on fresh tyres, and go better on older ones.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 17 September 2011
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