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Eurocup Megane Trophy

The competitors in the Eurocup Megane Trophy were hard at work last weekend at the Motorland Aragón circuit during two days of collective testing. Rookie Mirko Bortolotti (Oregon Team) headed the time sheets, ahead of Mike Verschuur (Equipe Verschuur).

Three weeks before the scheduled start of the season at the same circuit, the two-day test took place in the dry. The 14 drivers present took advantage of the opportunity to familiarise or refamiliarise themselves behind the wheel of their Megane Trophy.

And it was youngster Mirko Bortolotti (age 23) that everybody was talking about. After jumped ship from single-seaters – having brought home the gold with the Italian F3 championship in 2008 and the F2 championship in 2011 – the young Italian has demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt. The Oregon Team driver set three fastest times in four sessions and finished fastest on each day.

The Eurocup Megane Trophy Champion of 2008, Mike Verschuur made his return, demonstrating that he has not forgotten how to handle a Megane Trophy. Immediately on the pace, the Dutchman set the second fastest time on both days. His fellow Dutchman Kelvin Snoeks (Oregon Team) followed very close behind him in the timings.

As a team returning to the series in 2013, Gravity Charouz also set off on the right foot. After a first day learning the ropes, the Czech team got to grips with the task in hand the following day. Erik Janis also set the fastest lap of the fourth and final session.

Another newcomer to the series, Steven Palette (Team Lompech Sport) also broke into the top 5 at the end of each day.

Margot Laffite (Oregon Team) was particularly indefatigable on track. Benefitting from the short break in the F1 World Championship, the Canal+ presenter completed approximately one hundred laps on the first day, finishing in the top 10.

Of the Gentlemen Drivers, the fastest was Toni Forné (Pujolaracing). The Spaniard just had the lead over Jeroen Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) on the Saturday and over Jean-Charles Miginiac (Team Lompech Sport) the following day.

What they had to say:

Mirko Bortolotti: "It wasn’t always easy due to the wind which affected the car’s handling, but these tests have been very positive. I have tested various settings in order to understand the car. I really like the circuit and that has helped me to adapt my style to the Megane Trophy. We didn’t have any major problems and I think we have a decent base set-up for the start of the season. We are satisfied with the race simulations. The car is very sensitive and the difference between a good setting and a not-so-good one is very slight. So we’re going to have to treat settings with paramount importance."

Erik Janis: "We lost a lot of time on the first day through teething problems. But we finished the group tests at the level we had been aiming for. I feel at home in the car and I have gradually been getting used to its characteristics. For me, the most difficult thing has been getting used to the brakes."

Steven Palette: "I’m happy with these two days of learning about the series. It’s the first time I have competed in an international championship and the level is very high. The car is well-planted and very nice to drive. I have made decent progress, I came from saloon car racing and my instincts have taken over. We will return to Motorland Aragón feeling confident. If it doesn’t pay off immediately, it will do later in the season."

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 09 April 2013
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