The gap between championship leader Bas Schothorst (TDS Racing) and Albert Costa (Oregon Team) is gradually closing. Dutch driver Schothorst heads to Hungary with a 32-point advantage over Costa, but the Spaniard has been steadily gaining ground on him since the Nürburgring races. The pair’s rivalry resumes at the Hungaroring, a circuit that is perfectly suited to the Megane Trophy.
After starting the season with a run of four straight victories, Bas Schothorst appeared to be well on course for his first Eurocup Megane Trophy title. However, since the Nürburgring, the tide has been turning in favour of Albert Costa.
Costa, who won the Eurocup Formula Renault in 2009, finished fifth in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2010 and fourth in 2011, only needed two meetings to find his feet in the Eurocup Megane Trophy. In Germany, the 22-year-old- Barcelona native claimed his maiden victory in the competition. Since then he has enjoyed a run of four consecutive pole positions and picked up his second race win, at the Moscow Raceway.
The advantage still lies with Bas Schothorst, who has five victories to Albert Costa’s two. However, the last two meetings have seen the Spaniard gain 20 points on the Eurocup Megane Trophy leader. And with this round taking place at the Hungaroring, a track he particularly enjoys, and where he achieved a second place finish in the FR 3.5 Series last season, Costa will be hoping to put a further dent in Schothorst’s ambitions.
The pair’s team-mates will also be looking to muscle in on the action. Niccolo Nalio (Oregon Team), in particular, secured his maiden Eurocup Megane Trophy victory in Hungary last season to become the first Italian to win a race in the competition. Nalio currently sits third in the championship standings but his title hopes are not over yet, despite the fact that he has yet to taste victory this season. He will, however, have his work cut out to fend off the challenges of Kevin Gilardoni and Fabien Thuner (both Oregon Team), who lie just a few points behind him.
Buoyed by his first victory in the competition at the Moscow Raceway, Fabien Thuner no doubt has high hopes for a strong second half of the season. Meanwhile, Kevin Gilardoni and Kelvin Snoeks (TDS Racing), in their first season of saloon-car racing, are both eager to top the podium for the first time and have six races left in which to do so.
Jean-Charles Miginiac (Team Lompech Sport) moved clear of his rivals in the Gentlemen Drivers’ standings after winning twice at the Nürburgring and picking up two further victories in Russia. The Frenchman will be keen to extend his lead over Oliver Freymuth (AKF Motorsport) and Jeroen Schothorst (TDS Racing) in Hungary as he looks to secure the Gentlemen Drivers’ title as quickly as possible.
Marguerite Laffite (Oregon Team), meanwhile, will be making her return to the competition in a car bearing the colours of driving simulator specialists Ellip6. Margot, who presents Dimanche F1, a talk show on Eurosport dedicated to post-Formula One Grand Prix analysis, competed in the 2009 Eurocup Megane Trophy and will be looking to pick up immediately from where she left off.
Finally, Italian single-seat driver Omar Mambretti (Oregon Team) will be making his debut in the competition, along with Tim Coronel (TDS Racing), who replaces his twin brother, Tom, in car number seven.