Everyone vs. Oregon
The Eurocup Mégane Trophy likes coming to Spa-Francorchamps and Spa-Francorchamps usually returns the favour. For the last four years, the races out here in the Belgian Ardennes have become increasingly hotly contested and this year does not look likely to be any exception. Dominant in the opening round, the Oregon Team drivers Stefano Comini and Niccolo Nalio will be the men to beat. At a track he knows really well, Bas Schothorst (TDS Racing) will be the favourite to put an end to the Italian domination!
At Motorland Aragón, Stefano Comini totally shut out the competition with one pole position and two victories. Coming away from Spain with fifty points in the bag, the maximum points haul available at a Eurocup Mégane Trophy weekend, the Swiss driver has made a dream start to the season. After managing a podium finish at Spa-Francorchamps last season in his very first race in the discipline, it would be a dream for Stefano Comini to add a win here to his list of achievements.
For the moment, his most dangerous rival appears to be his teammate Niccolo Nalio, who took two second places in Spain. The Italian is still looking for his first win in Eurocup Mégane Trophy, so Spa-Francorchamps would be the ideal place for him to open his account. Bas Schothorst is in the same situation. The leader of TDS Racing will be relying on his excellent local knowledge to buck the trend at the earliest possible opportunity and not let the Oregon Team run away with things.
On home ground, the Boutsen Energy Racing team are also as ever bound to raise their game for the event. Having taken a win here with Dimitri Enjalbert last year, the Belgian team will be looking to Fabien Thuner and Michele Faccin this season. The two young drivers, who learnt their trade in single-seater racing, are really starting to come good. They may be able to spring a surprise, as may Jochen Habets (Boutsen Energy Racing). Just like the four other Dutch driver lining up for the start in the discipline, namely Bas Schothorst, Jeroen Schothorst, Wim Beelen (TDS Racing) and Steven Gijsen (Equipe Verschuur), Jochen Habets feels pretty much at home in Spa-Francorchamps. They will all be names to watch.
The only Belgian starter, David Dermont (TDS Racing) will be sure to have rehearsed the Belgian national anthem to get the crowd going. His primary objective will be to consolidate his lead in the Gentlemen Drivers category. With two wins and fifty points in the bag at Motorland Aragón, the TDS Racing driver has got off to a flying start. This however will only make Wim Beelen, Toni Forné (Pujolaracing) and Jean-Charles Miginiac (Team Lompech Sport) all the more motivated to beat the Belgian on his home turf.
At this second meeting of the Eurocup Mégane Trophy season, Andrea Ceccherelo (Brixia Horse Power) will be making his debut in the discipline. Announced as due to take part in Motorland Aragón, but finally prevented from doing so by other obligations, the runner-up in Italian Formula Renault 2.0 in 2010, immediately looked comfortable during off-season testing, putting in a promising third-fastest time in his first ever drive in a Mégane Trophy. The young Italian has not chosen the easiest circuit at which to make his debut in high-performance touring car racing, but all his rivals are sure to be watching closely to see how he performs.
With the Oregon Team drivers in top form, a Dutchman out to score maximum points, some outsiders sure to want to mix it up with the frontrunners and newcomers hoping to upset the status quo, this second Eurocup Mégane Trophy meeting looks set to see some explosive action, all against the backdrop of one of the finest circuits in the world.