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Eurocup Mégane Trophy

Albert Costa’s (Oregon Team) startline retirement and a four-car shunt at turn one left the way open for Bas Schothorst (TDS Racing) to secure a straightforward win in the opening Eurocup Megane Trophy race of the weekend, with Wim Beelen (TDS Racing) and Thibaut Bossy (Team Lompech Sport) rounding off the top three. The Dutchman’s sixth victory of the campaign takes him back to the top of the championship standings, nine points clear of the Spaniard.

There was a surprise in qualifying when Kevin Gilardoni (Oregon Team) grabbed only his second pole of the season. Joining him on the front row of the grid was stable-mate Albert Costa.

Disaster then struck the table-topping Spaniard when he failed to get away at the lights and was forced to retire. Meanwhile, Kevin Gilardoni (Oregon Team) pulled away in the lead only to get caught up in a four-car collision with Fabien Thuner (Oregon Team), Niccolo Nalio (Oregon Team) and Kelvin Snoeks (TDS Racing). Of the quartet, only the Swiss was able to resume.

Making the most of the mayhem was Bas Schothorst, who found himself out front with Wim Beelen and Thibaut Bossy for company. With his main rivals out of the running, the TDS Racing man stretched his lead over his team-mate, while Fabien Thuner set about regaining lost ground, moving up to fifth before the compulsory refuelling stop.

The drivers emerged from the pits with the positions unchanged, Bas Schothorst maintaining a six-second cushion over Wim Beelen. Behind them Thibaut Bossy had his hands full protecting third from the flying Fabien Thuner, though the Swiss failed to maintain his charge as the race progressed and soon had Toni Forne breathing down his neck.

While the TDS Racing pair continued their procession at the head of the race, that duel for fourth kept the fans entertained, and with five minutes remaining the Spaniard finally forced an opening to sweep into third.

Up ahead Bas Schothorst cruised home for his sixth win of the season to regain the championship lead from Albert Costa, albeit by a mere nine points, leaving the title race wide open ahead of Sunday’s denouement.

What they said:

Bas Schothorst: “I made the perfect start and found myself in the lead, which made a change from the bad luck I’ve been having in the last few races. I had a couple of scares at the end of the race, though, when a Torino Motorsport backmarker collided with me twice. I even got spun out on the last-but-one lap, which left a bitter taste.”

Wim Beelen: “This is my first podium in five years of driving in Eurocup Megane Trophy, and I’m absolutely thrilled.”

Thibaut Bossy: “This is my third race in the category and here I am on the podium. I know that in ordinary circumstances I’m not yet quick enough to be in the top three, but that’s all part and parcel of motorsport. You have to be able to take your chances when they come along. My objective is to race for a whole season next year, provided that I can get the money together.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 20 October 2012
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