The return of the Third Man...

26.06.2009: Before the Hungaroring meeting, it seemed that this year's Eurocup Megane Trophy was heading for a two-way tussle between Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing) and Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur).

Renault Megane Trophy Silverstone - Preview

Before the Hungaroring meeting, it seemed that this year's Eurocup Megane Trophy was heading for a two-way tussle between Jonathan Hirschi (TDS Racing) and Mike Verschuur (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur). But a third man muscled into the contest in Hungary, a certain Dimitri Enjalbert (Boutsen Energy Racing). His two wins mean that the title race is wide open again. The Frenchman now needs a repeat performance at Silverstone if he is to continue to put pressure on the top two.

Jonathan Hirschi made a flying start this season, with three wins in four races, but he lost all momentum in Hungary, allowing Dimitri Enjalbert and Mike Verschuur to take advantage. With two pole positions and two runner-up places, Mike Verschuur scored heavily and closed to within just five points of Jonathan Hirschi, who still leads the Eurocup Megane Trophy with 68 points. The Dutchman will be making his first race outing at Silverstone, so he will therefore be at a slight disadvantage compared to his main rivals who know the track well.

Reinvigorated by two runaway wins in Hungary, Dimitri Enjalbert returns to successful hunting grounds in the UK, as he has already won here this season in the FIA GT3 European championship. Still over thirty points adrift of the leaders, the Frenchman knows he needs something special this weekend if he is to stay in the hunt for the title he has coveted for the last three years. Race one at Silverstone marks the season's half-way point, so it's all still up grabs and if Dimitri Enjalbert enjoys the same success in England as he did in Hungary, then he will quickly become a serious contender for the title.

Currently lying third in the overall standings and regularly in the points, Bernhard Ten Brinke (Equipe Verschuur) will also be in the mix. The Dutch driver, a stalwart of the Eurocup Megane Trophy since the series began in 2005, had his best result in the category last season at Silverstone, where he finished second in race one. He would undoubtedly love to go one better this year.

But the rest of the field will once again have to watch out for Giorgio Pantano (Oregon Team) at Silverstone. The Italian produced a solid debut performance in Hungary, notably picking up fourth place in race two. Pantano has obviously got to grips with New Mégane Trophy and will now be looking to step up a gear or two. Winner of a GP2 race on this track, he knows the fast corners of the former RAF base like the back of his hand. What better place to rack up his first Eurocup Megane Trophy win than here...

Tech 1 Racing's drivers are also growing in confidence and closing in on the leading group. Matthieu Cheruy (Tech 1 Racing) kicked things off in Belgium, as the first driver from the defending team champions to grab a spot on the podium. In Hungary, it was the turn of Nick Catsburg (Tech 1 Racing) to experience the joys of a podium-finish, for the first time in his career.

Will it be Antony Tardieu's (Tech 1 Racing) turn in England? For Simon Abadie's outfit, the real aim is however to  grab the team's first win of the season in order to get into contention for the Teams championship, largely dominated for the time being by TDS Racing thanks to the results of Jonathan Hirschi, Pierre Thiriet (TDS Racing) and Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS Racing).

Madonia also tops the Gentlemen drivers' standings. However, Hoevert Vos (Verschuur Autosport) is ready to take on the Frenchman, after securing his first win of the season in Hungary. Jean-Charles Miginiac (Team Lompech Sport), Jeroen Schothorst (McGregor by Equipe Verschuur) and Pierre Hirschi (Oregon Team) have been consistent performers so far and also hope they can put the leader off his stride.


- Blanca de Foronda-

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26.06.2009 / MaP

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