Verschuur rises to Hirschi’s challenge

20.04.2009: Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) is back in Eurocup Mégane Trophy and he means business! Third yesterday, he takes the win today in spite of attack-after-attack from Jonathan Hirschi (TDS) in the closing

Barcelona - Race 2

Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) is back in Eurocup Mégane Trophy and he means business! Third yesterday, he takes the win today in spite of attack-after-attack from Jonathan Hirschi (TDS) in the closing stages. The Swiss driver finishes second, ahead of Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur), but leaves Barcelona on top of the Eurocup Mégane Trophy standings, one point ahead of Mike Verschuur.

Conditions were wet again as the New Mégane Trophy line-up settled on the start grid for race 2 of the weekend. The rain had stopped at the Barcelona circuit, so there was a chance the track could dry in the course of the forty minutes’ racing.

Bernhard Ten Brinke surprised Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing) at the getaway to grab the lead. Bernhard Ten Brinke, Dimitri Enjalbert and Mike Verschuur immediately pulled away from the field. From seventh place on the grid, yesterday’s winner Jonathan Hirschi quickly moved up to fourth place and was always gaining ground on the three leaders. In fifth place, Pierre Thiriet (TDS) had to hold off the chasing group of Nick Catsburg (Tech 1 Racing), Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport) and Mathieu Cheruy (Tech 1 Racing).

Mike Verschuur got past Dimitri Enjalbert on lap 4. The Dutchman left the French driver to fight it out with Jonathan Hirschi and moved up to challenge Bernhard Ten Brinke. But Brinke was cool under pressure and held his ground. Behind the two men, Jonathan Hirschi grabbed third on lap 4. Dimitri Enjalbert continued to drop back as Pierre Thiriet, Nick Catsburg, Fabrice Walfish then Jean-Phlippe Madonia (TDS) all got the better of him.

Feeling the pressure, Bernhard Ten Brinke cornered wide and went onto the grass. Mike Verschuur had been waiting for such an opportunity to move into the lead, just as Jonathan Hirschi decided to pit, the first of the leaders to refuel. Mike Verschuur, Bernhard Ten Brinke, Nick Catsburg and Fabrice Walfisch decided to delay their compulsory pit stop for as long as possible. Catsburg and Walifsh swapped positions several times, but Walfisch eventually made his experience tell and got the better of Catsburg. At that point, the young Dutchman decided to pit, leaving Fabrice Walfisch as last driver to refuel.

After the series of pit stops, Mike Verschuur was still in the lead, ahead of Jonathan Hirschi, Bernhard Ten Brinke, Nick Catsburg and Fabrice Walfisch. Jonathan Hirschi closed the gap on Mike Verschuur and the two front-runners fought it out side-by-side in the last laps of the race, Mike Verschuur succeeding in holding off Jonathan Hirschi to the end to take the win.

Ten Brinke’s third place also came under threat as he was caught by the Catsburg / Walfisch duo. Nick Catsburg got past Ten Brinke in the last lap only to be immediately passed himself. So it was Bernhard Ten Brinke who completed the podium line-up. After yesterday’s win and today’s second place, Jonathan Hirschi leaves Barcelona as championship leader in the Eurocup Mégane Trophy, one point ahead of Mike Verschuur.


Quote, unquote:

Mike Verschuur:
“I got off to a much better start than yesterday. I quickly made up the ground on Enjalbert then I got past Bernhard. After my pit stop I was in good shape, but by the end of the race, my tires were destroyed. I closed the door to hold on to my first place. That’s what we need to do all season!”

Jonathan Hirschi
: “The car was running well. I started in 7th, but I moved up the order fast. We decided to pit very early. So I found myself on the track on my own and I was able to get into a good rhythm, which helped me catch up on Mike. The last few laps were close, but he drove a good race.”

Bernhard Ten Brinke
: “The end of the race was difficult. I braked too late, Nick Catsburg took advantage of that, but I managed to get past him! I’m on the podium today, and there’s satisfaction there, but I’m a bit disappointed, because I was in the lead for quite a few laps. I could have won this race!”



- Blanca de Foronda-

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20.04.2009 / MaP

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