Albert Costa (Oregon Team) appears to be getting more and more comfortable at the wheel of the Megane Trophy. The Spaniard recorded the fastest time in both of the day’s sessions, finishing ahead of team-mate Niccolo Nalio in the morning and afternoon. The TDS Racing pair of Bas Schothorst and Kelvin Snoeks also put in strong performances. The weekend’s action is shaping up to be intense on a circuit that is never short of surprises.
The Eurocup Megane Trophy action continues apace at Spa-Francorchamps. Bruce Lorgeré-Roux, who finished fifth in the competition in 2006 with one win, a pole position and five podiums, returns to the field this weekend. The Frenchman joins Pujolaracing and replaces Toni Forné at the wheel of the high-performance saloon for this meeting. From the Nürburgring meeting onwards, the Spanish team will enter two cars – one driven by Forné, the other by Lorgeré-Roux.
On a wet track, the day started badly for Niccolo Nalio after he went into the gravel trap at Stavelot. The Italian was helped by the marshals and managed to make it back to the pits, but lost several minutes as a result. Overall championship leader Bas Schothorst, meanwhile, was enjoying a much better start to the session. The Dutchman led proceedings at this stage and bettered his own fastest time on several occasions. Behind him, Albert Costa, Fabien Thuner (Oregon Team) and David Dermont (Team Lompech Sport) were in a three-way battle for second, with Kelvin Snoeks and Bruce Lorgeré-Roux also challenging.
At the very end of the session, it was Albert Costa who rose to the top with a lap of 2:32.267. In the final lap, Niccolo Nalio and Kelvin Snoeks secured second and third place respectively, pushing Bas Schothorst down into fourth.
The afternoon session also belonged to Albert Costa. The Spanish driver, who finished third at Spa in Race 1 of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series last season, was consistent and clocked the fastest time of the day with a lap of 2:24.930. His team-mate Niccolo Nalio again finished second, with overall championship leader Bas Schothorst rounding off the top three.
What they said:
“The first session was the first time I had really driven this car in the rain. It helped me understand a lot of things and I was particularly impressed by the car’s handling on a wet track. I achieved my time on old tyres by battling very hard with the car. In the afternoon, on fresh tyres, everything was perfect. I’m becoming more and more confident at the wheel and more familiar with the discipline. It’s a good start.”
“I’m pleasantly surprised. Everything went well in the second session on worn tyres, but I wasn’t able to get the best out of the fresh tyres. Clearly, I drove to hard. I need to work to improve in that respect. With that car, I really could have done a lot better. I like this circuit and I’m more comfortable at the wheel of the Megane Trophy. I think I can really expect to get a good result this weekend.”
“It’s great to be back in the Eurocup Megane Trophy, even though I did bump into one of the other drivers during the second session. It wasn’t easy getting back to grips with the discipline on the wet track this morning. I’m finding my bearings again. The thing that unsettled me the most, compared with the GT, was the brakes. I’ve got used to driving cars with ABS. The Megane Trophy doesn’t have it and I was caught out several times, with a lot of wheel locking.”