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Pierre Thiriet keeps a cool head to win race

TDS Racing's Pierre Thiriet was the only driver to risk starting on slicks on a wet track today. Unperturbed by a difficult start to the race, his bet paid off, handing him the first win of his Eurocup Mégane Trophy career ahead of teammate Nick Catsburg. His win also puts him in the lead for the Eurocup Mégane Trophy championship.

As was the case yesterday, the drivers in the Eurocup Mégane Trophy were obliged to put in a flying lap in qualifying before the rains descended on the Magny-Cours circuit. Oregon Team’s Stefano Comini and Boutsen Energy Racing’s Dimitri Enjambert, who both appeared to be out for revenge for yesterday, claimed pole and second positions.

It had stopped raining, but the overall trend on the starting grid seemed to be for wet tires. Only TDS Racing’s Pierre Thiriet, who started from sixth position, opted for slicks. Stefano Comini made the best start, but Dimitri Enjalbert had the racing line in the approach to the Adelaide hairpin. The Frenchman claimed the lead, but before the end of the first lap, Nick Catsburg had overtaken Stefano Comini and Dimitri Enjalbert. The Netherlander was now leading the French and Swiss drivers. At the same time, Pierre Thiriet had fallen to 19th place following a spill.

Catsburg was making a clean break, opening up a gap on Enjalbert. Stefano Comini was further back and was busy fending off his countryman Boutsen Energy Racing’s Fabien Thuner. In the pack, Thiriet's earlier gamble was clearly paying dividends. He was clearly the fastest on the track and was making up places hand over fist.

Catsburg and Thuner were the first to enter the pits. The two drivers refuelled and changed their tyres for slicks. Enjalbert would follow suit one lap later. The manoeuvre did not go smoothly for the Boutsen Energy Racing driver, who lost precious seconds due to a troublesome rear wheel. Pierre Thiriet on the other hand appeared to be taking his time to pit. But then again, he didn't need to change his tires. After the pit stops were complete, Pierre Thiriet had control of the race with a fifteen-second lead over Nick Catsburg, who had a significant lead over Stefano Comini. McGregor by Equipe Verschuur's Bas Schothorst was 4th, with Dimitri Enjalbert hot on his heels in 5th. Bas Schothorst meanwhile, had managed get clear of Dimitri Enjalbert and was starting to threaten Stefano Comini.

Nick Catsburg set fastest lap after fastest lap in an attempt to catch up with his teammate. The gap between the two drivers melted away rapidly. Nevertheless, Pierre Thiriet was not going to let his teammate intimidate him. Keeping a cool head, he won the first Eurocup Mégane Trophy race of his career and took top spot on the Championship leaderboard, with a one-point lead over Nick Catsburg. In the Gentlemen Drivers category, it was TDS Racing’s Jean-Philippe Madonia who came out top.

Pierre Thiriet: “It’s father’s day today, and I’d like to dedicate this first win to my dad. As for the choice of tyres, it wasn’t just the luck of the draw. I was sure of what I was doing, that's why it worked so well. I’m the championship leader, so I've really got my eyes on the prize now."

Nick Catsburg: “I treid to catch up with Pierre, but my team told me to take it easy. It’s important to score points. At Brno I scored zero points, which cost me dear. I need to continue at this pace. There’s a lot of us who are in with a chance of the title.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release

Posted: 20 June 2010
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