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Eurocup Mégane Trophy

Points leader Albert Costa (Oregon Team) made light of changeable weather in Barcelona on Friday to go fastest in a damp opening collective testing session. The Spaniard also impressed in drier conditions in the afternoon, though it was his team-mate Kevin Gilardoni (Oregon Team) who posted the fastest time of the day. Quickest in the TDS Racing stable was Kelvin Snoeks, while championship-chasing team-mate Bas Schothorst went calmly about his preparations for the year’s final two races.

Like their counterparts in the three other World Series by Renault categories, the Eurocup Megane Trophy field endured a soggy start to the final weekend of the season. Lining up again are Marguerite Laffite (Oregon Team) and Thibaut Bossy (Team Lompech Sport), who are both taking a liking to the event, while Andrea Boffo (Torino Motorsport) geared up for his debut drive in the high-performance saloon car developed by Renault Sport Technologies.

Albert Costa led the pack from the off in the morning, setting the fastest lap early on and then improving on it on three occasions, ending the session out front in a time of 2:13.966.

Behind him Kelvin Snoeks got the better of his TDS Racing team-mate Bas Schothorst to finish second on the morning timesheets, with the Oregon Team quartet of Niccolo Nalio, Fabien Thuner, Kevin Gilardoni and Margot Laffite occupying places four to seven.

It was all change in the afternoon as the track dried, Kelvin Snoeks taking advantage of the improving conditions to lead for most of the session. As the final quarter of an hour approached, however, the Dutchman was upstaged by first Niccolo Nalio and then Fabien Thuner, the Swiss driver trimming the benchmark time down to 1:53.734 and then to 1:53.328.

Kelvin Snoeks stormed back with a time of 1:53.294, at which point Margot Laffite ran into trouble, with the session being neutralised for a short while. The Oregon Team crew then took control as the chequered flag approached, as Albert Costa and Kevin Gilardoni exchanged fastest laps, Gilardoni’s time of 1:52.795 proving the quickest of the day, with Costa and Snoeks behind him. Meanwhile, Bas Schothorst could do no better than seventh.

What they said:

Kevin Gilardoni: “I’m thrilled to finish the collective testing sessions with the fastest times. It’s really going to motivate me for the rest of the weekend. Things went well with both the used and new tyres, which is just great. I need to do well in qualifying and push hard to end the season in style. My aim is to finish third in the points.”

Albert Costa: “Things went perfectly in the rain this morning. I love this track and I love the rain. I tried a few different things out at the start of the afternoon session, which is why I was so far behind. I was on a good last lap but went wide on some oil. This isn’t the first time I’ve been fighting for a title and I know I’ve got to stay calm.”

Kelvin Snoeks: “I spent virtually the entire session out front, which is good. We’ve got some good pace going and my main objective this weekend is to help Bas Schothorst in his bid for the title. We really need him to win the Eurocup Megane Trophy, though I’d also like to get a good result to finish off the season. I’ve just had a Dutch GT win and it would be great to get a Eurocup Megane Trophy win too.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 19 October 2012
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