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Eurocup Mégane Trophy

Not for the first time this season, the 2011 Eurocup Megane Trophy champion Stefano Comini (Oregon Team) went fastest in collective testing. Recovering from a sluggish start to the day to head a field that included former FR 3.5 series stalwart Alvaro Barba (Equipe Verschuur) and the returning Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Equipe Verschuur), the Swiss continued his year-long domination of the event.

The Eurocup Megane Trophy field features several new recruits this weekend. Oregon Team have invited Spanish driver Oscar Nogues along as reward for winning the Italian Clio Cup, while Andrea Baiguera (Brixia Horse Power) is sharing car No. 73 with his father Angelo, and Jean-Philippe Dayraut and Alvaro Barba are making their entrances courtesy of Equipe Verschuur. Fourth in the discipline in 2006, Dayraut knows the Megane Trophy well, although this is a new experience for Barba. Having switched to the International GT Open after several seasons in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, the Spaniard today completed his first laps in the high-performance saloon car developed by Renault Sport Technologies.

No sooner had the green flag been waved than Bas Schothorst (TDS Racing) laid down a marker, the Dutchman briefly being upstaged by Michele Faccin (Boutsen Energy Racing) before topping the timesheets again at 1:53:671. Settling in quickly, Barba surged into the top five, behind the leading trio of Schothorst, Comini and Faccin, before proceedings were briefly halted when Nogues went off.

Continuing to impress in his first session in Eurocup Megane Trophy, Barba climbed up to third after the restart, just eight thousandths of a second behind Schothorst.

The Dutchman was in impressive form again in the afternoon, heading the field for much of the session from Barba and Gregory Guilvert (Team Lompech Sport). It was then that Comini reminded everyone why he is the champion, the Swiss improving on Schothorst’s morning mark to storm into first. And though Barba challenged again, Comini closed the day out with a fastest lap of 1:52:922.

What they said :

Stefano Comini: “I had a few problems this morning. The set-up wasn’t right and the tyres were causing us a headache or two, but we worked hard and got it all together. I’m determined to win this weekend because there are some new faces on the grid and I want to be first again.”

Alvaro Barba: “It’s nice to be back at a World Series by Renault meeting, and we only made the decision to come here last night. Today was my first drive in the Megane Trophy and it’s nothing like the GT I’m used to driving. My goal this weekend is to have fun and go as fast as possible.”

Jean-Philippe Dayraut: “I’m delighted to be back in this car again. I haven’t driven in the Megane Trophy since Magny-Cours in 2007, where I finished second in one race with Oregon Team. I’m here to have fun and because I love the Eurocup Megane Trophy. It’s tough to come in at the end of the season and take on drivers who are in the groove. Making the podium’s a long shot but not impossible. The car was understeering today and I don’t like that. We’re going to try and work on it.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 07 October 2011
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