Bas Schothorst (TDS Racing) and Albert Costa (Oregon Team) have their sights set on the same objective this season: the Eurocup Megane Trophy title. To prove the point the duo went fastest in Friday’s collective testing at Motorland Aragon, Schothorst heading the morning’s timesheets and Costa the afternoon’s. Keeping them company was Niccolo Nalio (Oregon Team).
With the season’s opening races almost upon them, the Eurocup Megane Trophy field tuned up with two one-hour testing sessions on Friday. Finally taking his place in the No. 10 car for Lompech Sport was David Dermont, who is aiming for the top three this year after finishing fourth overall and taking the Gentlemen Drivers’ title in 2011. Also taking to the track today was 2010 Eurocup Megane Trophy champion Nick Catsburg, who went out in Michael Munemann’s car, his brief to get the set-up right for the British and Algarve Pro Racing driver.
Session one boiled down to a duel between Schothorst and Costa, the two title contenders going blow for blow for the whole hour. The Dutchman nosed in front midway through the session with a time of 2:02.374 and cemented his position late on by going round in 2:02.309, with the Oregon Team trio of Costa, Nalio and Thuner trailing behind him.
The selfsame quartet was at it again in the afternoon. The TDS Racing man, third in the event last season, seemed to be on course to complete a double for the day when he went close to his benchmark time, and headed the field for most of the session. His Spanish rival had other ideas, however, finding some searing pace to lap in 2:02.041 in the closing minutes and bump Schothorst down to second on the timesheets and Nalio third.
What they said:
Bas Schothorst: “I can’t wait for the race because these collective testing sessions can be deceptive. You don’t really know who’s doing what, who’s hiding their cards and who’s laying them on the table. Things didn’t go well for me today because every time I put new tyres on out came the red flag.”
Albert Costa: “There are still quite a few things I need to learn about this car. I haven’t quite got the balance right between attack and defence. I tend to go too hard and knock the tyres around a bit, which is not good for the race. I’m happy to be here, though, and I’ll be doing what I can to get a race win as soon as possible.”
Niccolo Nalio: “I think it’s going to be close between Bas, Albert and I. Fabien Thuner, Kevin Gilardoni and Kelvin Snoeks will also be ones to watch out for. I’ve already said it and I’ll say it again: I’m going for the title and nothing else. And the thing that could make the difference is having experience in this event.”