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Oregon Team lay down gauntlet to TDS Racing

It’s definitely in the Eurocup Mégane Trophy, the only touring car discipline of the World Series by Renault, that the drivers suffered most from the heat today. It didn’t seem to stop Stefano Comini (Oregon Team) though. He came through the blistering heat to set the quickest lap time of the day, ahead of Oregan Team colleague Niccolo Nalio. Pierre Thiriet (TDS Racing) and Nick Catsburg (TDS Racing) were hot on their tails. This season, the battle between drivers is looking like a battle of teams too…

When it comes to heat, Eurocup Mégane Trophy is where the pain is going to be this weekend. In the first collective testing session, the drivers logically enough decided to drive long runs to familiarise with the extreme conditions. There was a lot of traffic early on in the session and the standings changed with each lap.

Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing), Bas Schothorst (Mc Gregor by Equipe Verschuur) and Nick Catsburg were the first to record significant times. They were quickly joined at the top of the timing screens by Stefano Comini and Pierre Thiriet. After lapping in 1’53’’573, the French driver spent much of the session on top, ahead of Stefano Comini and Dimitri Enjalbert.

Things speeded up toward the end of the session. Hoevert Vos (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) was first on the attack , turning in a lap time of 1’53’’074. Both Stefano Comini and Nick Catsburg went quicker, before the red flag had to be brought out, signalling the end of this session, when Harrie Kolen (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) and Raymond Coronel (McG Fashion by Verschuur) both crashed out. So Nick Catsburg led, with a best lap of 1’52’’425, ahead of Stefano Comini, Hoevert Vos, Bas Shothorst and Pierre Thiriet.

Even if the minds of the eight Dutch drivers competing in Eurocup Mégane Trophy were turned to the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup between the Netherlands and Brazil, the competitors stayed focused on track, despite the 30°C ambient temperature and the 60°C –give or take a few degrees!- inside the Megane Trophy cockpit. It was not until the end of the session that the drivers got close to the best times set during the morning. Fabien Thuner (Boutsen Energy Racing) and Nick Catsburg were the front runners during this second session, but it was Pierre Thiriet who was first to beat the time set by Nick Catsburg in the morning.

But then the French driver was ousted from the top spot at the very end of the session by Stefano Comini. With a time of 1'51''324, the Swiss driver beat his teammate Niccolo Nalio, who also improved his time in the last minutes of the day’s testing. Pierre Thiriet finished third, Nick Catsburg fourth and Bas Schothorst fifth.

Stefano Comini: "Magny-Cours was a really difficult weekend for me, so it's important to put everything back in place here and it started well today. I had only driven in Formula Renault 2.0 here and I think this circuit is much better in the Mégane than in the single-seaters. In particular, you can really go at the rumble strips in the Mégane."

Official Renault Sport Press Release

Posted: 02 July 2010
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