Giorgio Pantano to make his debut at Hungaroring

05.06.2009: The winner of three out of four races so far, Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing), in Budapest, will have to contend both with the return of Dimitri Enjalbert (Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing), who will be determined to make up lost ground

Hungaroring – Preview  Eurocup Megane Trophy

The winner of three out of four races so far, Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing), in Budapest, will have to contend both with the return of Dimitri Enjalbert (Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing), who will be determined to make up lost ground, and the arrival on the scene of Giorgio Pantano (Oregon Team). The Italian will be starting over from scratch in the Eurocup Mégane Trophy, but he should have what it takes to rapidly trouble the leaders.

Winner of the GP2 Series in 2008 and a Jordan F1 driver in 2004, Giorgio Pantano will make his Eurocup Mégane Trophy debut at the Hungaroring. A seasoned driver in single-seaters, his experience in touring cars is limited to having taken part in one GT event last season. The Italian had his first taste of the New Mégane Trophy a few weeks ago at a testing session organized by the Oregon Team. So, everything is now set for him to make his entry in style in Hungary. Giorgio Pantano will also be taking part in the events at Silverstone and Le Mans.

Having the chance to measure their abilities against a driver with the pedigree of Giorgio Pantano will be an interesting challenge for all the Eurocup Mégane Trophy drivers. For Jonathan Hirschi, who currently leads the category, twenty points clear of Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur), the main objective will be to further strengthen his position at the Hungarian round of the World Series by Renault. With three wins and one second place in four races, the Swiss driver has, within the space of just a few weeks, moved from being an outsider to being the man to beat. He can count on the experience of TDS Racing to help him achieve what must now clearly be his objective for the season: The Drivers title.

TDS Racing is also leading the Team standings, thanks to the good set of results posted by Pierre Thiriet (TDS Racing), the revelation of the early part of the season. In his first season in competitive motorsport, the French driver already has three Top 5 finishes to his name and even took his first podium spot in Spa-Francorchamps, in just his fourth race. And he looks to have plenty of potential to improve still further. For TDS Racing, Pierre Thiriet could very quickly become an important asset in the race for the title.

Second in the overall standings, Mike Verschuur had a lacklustre weekend in Spa-Francorchamps, suffering recurrent electrical problems with his car. The whole McGregor by Équipe Verschuur team has now had the benefit of the several weeks breathing space between Spa-Francorchamps and Budapest to put things right. The Dutchman will certainly be hoping to reverse the current trend at the technical Hungaroring circuit.

The drivers from Tech 1 Racing will also be looking for a second wind. At Spa-Francorchamps, Nick Catsburg (Tech 1 Racing) did not manage to turn his promising performance into results, while Anthony Tardieu (Tech 1 Racing) only now seems to be gradually getting to grips with his New Mégane Trophy. Which leaves only Matthieu Cheruy (Tech 1 Racing), who has managed to take just one podium spot to date. The Tech 1 Racing boys will have to up the pace pretty sharpish if they want to take their fourth Teams title in a row.

After not taking part in Spa-Francorchamps, Dimitri Enjalbert will make his return to action in Hungary. Third in the Eurocup Mégane Trophy in 2008, and second back in 2007, the Frenchman has managed only one point so far this season. So for him the calculation is simple: He has to go all out to make up lost ground

Following the example of his teammate, Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS Racing) is dominating the Gentlemen Drivers category, and is even enjoying the luxury of sitting in fifth place in the overall Drivers standings. Hoevert Vos (Equipe Verschuur), Jean-Charles Miginiac (Team Lompech Sport) and Pierre Hirschi (Oregon Team) are waiting in the wings, ready to pounce on the slightest mistake by the TDS Racing driver.

But the only man so far who has shown he has what it takes to unseat Madonia is Lorenzo Bontempelli (Oregon Team). Winner of race two at Spa-Francorchamps in the Gentlemen Drivers category, the Italian will be back in action at the Hungaroring, looking for a repeat performance.
 

- Blanca de Foronda -

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05.06.2009 / MaP

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