Mike Verschuur on a roll in qualifying at Hungaroring

13.06.2009: After being quick in collective testing yesterday, Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) confirmed this morning in qualifying, grabbing both pole positions in the Eurocup Megane Trophy series. The outcome

13/06/2009 – Hungaroring – Qualifying

After being quick in collective testing yesterday, Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) confirmed this morning in qualifying, grabbing both pole positions in the Eurocup Megane Trophy series. The outcome of the battle between Mike Verschuur, Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing) and Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing) had been uncertain right to the nail-biting end of session. But for sure, Mike Verschuur is looking very much at home here in Hungary.

The Eurocup Megane Trophy drivers took to the track for the single qualifying session of the weekend under glorious Hungarian sunshine. From the off, it was Jonathan Hirschi who took the lead ahead of Dimitri Enjalbert. The duel between the two drivers saw lap times improve lap after lap. With a provisional best time of 1’50’’528, Hirschi put himself comfortably in the driving seat.

At this point, the fight for third place was between Mike Verschuur, Giorgio Pantano (Oregon Team) and Fabrice Walfisch (Team Lompech Sport). Walfisch managed to pull clear, but Mike Verschuur narrowed the time gap on Jonathan Hirschi and Dimitri Enjalbert. By the halfway point in the session, the gap separating the first three was less than six hundredths of a second.

As so often, the last moments of qualifying saw everything change. Mike Verschuur, with a best lap of 1’50’’107, laid claim to pole position. Dimitri Enjalbert improved on his best time, moving up to second ahead of Jonathan Hirschi. But the Swiss driver wasn’t about to relinquish second spot. With his last attempt, he managed to grab back his second position. The top 5 was completed by Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) and Fabrice Walfisch, with Giorgio Pantano 6th and Jean-Philippe Madonia, fastest of the Gentleman Drivers, in seventh.

Each driver’s best time decides the line-up for race one, and second best gives their position on the grid in race two. That being the rule, Mike Verschuur who came out on top twice and he will start both races this weekend on pole. But on Sunday, he will be sharing the front row with Dimitri Enjalbert.


Quote, unquote:


Mike Verschuur
: “It wasn’t easy because there was a lot of traffic. We decided to go back into the pits and wait for the end of the session to go for it. The plan worked. The car has been very good from the outset this weekend. We have to show the same form in race conditions now. Another positive point for us is Bernhard Ten Brinke qualifying in 4th place. I’ll be able to count on him in the race.”

Jonathan Hirschi
: “The battle was really on out there and it’s true the traffic wasn’t easy to deal with, especially on this very winding circuit. It’s definitely not my favourite circuit, so my main goal this weekend is to limit the damage and pick up points. Verschuur showed today he’s far from given up on the championship, so we’re going to have to fight and be careful to avoid making any mistakes.“

Dimitri Enjalbert:
“It’s like last season, there are three of us really close up. I did my best time right at the start - after that, there was just too much traffic out there. So then I decided to let my tires cool down a bit to try my luck at the end of the session. I’ve got nothing to lose compared to Hirschi and Verschuur, so it’s up to me to try something. I can afford to have a slightly more aggressive race strategy.“

 
- Blanca de Foronda-

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13.06.2009 / MaP

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