Albert Costa (Oregon Team) secured the fastest time in the dry at the Nürburgring. But it was Tom Coronel (TDS Racing) who really stood out, the Eurocup Megane Trophy newcomer wasting no time in getting to grips with Renault Sport Technologies’ high-performance saloon. The Dutchman proved he is up to the challenge, and appears ready to shake up the established order this weekend.
Three drivers have joined the Eurocup Megane Trophy field for the Nürburgring round. While Rembert Berg (Algarve Pro Racing) already has some experience of the discipline, Tom Coronel (TDS Racing) and Thibault Bossy (Team Lompech Sport) will both be making their competition debuts time this weekend. The two newcomers have already had the chance to drive the Megane Trophy in endurance races, however, with Coronel notably having competed in the 24 Hours of Barcelona.
It only took Coronel, a WTCC regular, a few laps to make himself at home at the wheel of the Megane Trophy. The Dutchman traded fastest times with overall championship leader Bas Schothorst (TDS Racing) before Niccolo Nalio entered the fray and moved to the top of the timesheets with a lap of 2:05.333. At the very end of the morning session, Coronel showed his intent by taking back top spot with a time of 2:04.764. The Dutch driver, however, was later penalised for having cut the chicane. The morning’s fastest time, then, went to Albert Costa, whose effort of 2:05.099 put him ahead of Nalio, Bas Schothorst, Kevin Gilardoni (Oregon Team) and Coronel.
The order changed apace in the afternoon on a wet track. Kelvin Snoeks caught the eye by dominating the first part of the session, with Bas Schothorst and Fabien Thuner (Oregon Team) his closes challengers. Championship leader Schothorst then gave a reminder of his status by regaining the fastest time, only for Kelvin Snoeks to hit back immediately. But the pair were ultimately upstaged by another Dutchman. Indeed, Coronel showed he can master his new car in both wet and dry conditions, and finished the day with two quick laps. Coronel finished in first place with a time of 2:22.140, ahead of team-mates and compatriots Bas Schothorst and Kelvin Snoeks.
What they said:
Albert Costa: “We made several changes to the set-up of my car, particularly in terms of the front axle. I’m quite pleased with the handling now. We worked well in the dry during the first session. It was also good to drive on a wet track, as I still need to find my limits in those conditions.”
Tom Coronel: “The Megane Trophy is great to drive. It’s a very original racing car, whose handling is somewhere between that of a single-seater and a Super Touring car. I felt really good in it straight away, and there is a lot of grip. It’s the kind of car and discipline that I know well, and I love this circuit, so I’m very happy to be here. I don’t know if I’ll be able to win this weekend, but it’s obviously my aim. It’s a tradition that if I win, I keep the trophies, and if I finish second or third, I put them up for grabs on Twitter.”
Thibault Bossy: “I had already driven in the Eurocup Megane Trophy, as I earned a test drive after winning the Clio Cup Junior in France. I also did an endurance race with Team Lompech Sport. I’m still a bit short in terms of performance, but it’s all such a pleasure. I drove with a smile on my face today! I hope it won’t rain this weekend because I don’t like the rain. It’s a weekend for learning and enjoyment – after that, we’ll see what happens.