The Dutchman has won all but one of this season’s six races so far, the only blot on his copybook coming in race one at the Nürburgring, when Albert Costa (Oregon Team) took the honours. The championship now moves on to Moscow Raceway, a track new to all the drivers and where the 2011 Eurocup Megane Trophy champion Stefano Comini (Team Lompech Sport) and ex-Formula One and Champ Car driver Robert Moreno (Oregon Team) will both be making their entrances this season.
Russia’s Moscow Raceway will mark the midway point of the Eurocup Megane Trophy season. The situation at the top of the standings is crystal clear. With five wins out of six, Schothorst is well ahead of the pack and seemingly on course to win his first title in the category, having finished fourth overall in 2010 and third in 2011.
If anyone can reel the Dutchman in, however, it is Costa, a Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion in 2009 and fourth in Formula Renault 3.5 Series last year. The Barcelona man posted two pole positions, a win and a second place at the Nürburgring to pull clear of team-mates Kevin Gilardoni (Orgeon Team) and Niccolo Nalio (Oregon Team) in the standings, and is now gunning for the TDS Racing driver.
There will be plenty of competition for the top two in Moscow. While Fabien Thuner (Oregon Team) and Eurocup Megane Trophy newcomers Gilardoni and Kelvin Snoeks (TDS Racing) are going from strength to strength, old hands Comini and Moreno will be making their return to the category, following on from the appearance of the similarly experienced Tom Coronel (TDS Racing) at the Nürburgring.
Reigning champion Comini, the runaway leader in this year’s Clio Cup Italy, will be taking to the wheel of the Megane Trophy for the first time since its engine was beefed up to 400bhp. Having won 14 races in the discipline in two seasons, however, he should have little trouble in getting up to speed.
Appearing in the Ellip6 colours, Moreno owes his place in the field to Nicolas Milan’s withdrawal for personal reasons. Aside from a new track, the Brazilian will also have a new car to get to grips with. The winner of 1982 Formula Three Macau Grand Prix and the 1988 F3000 champion, Moreno is a veteran of 42 Formula One grands prix and also made his name in the USA’s Champ Car World Series, finishing third overall in 2000. Accustomed to Super Touring and Grand Touring cars in the last few years, the Brazilian should have little trouble finding his way round the high-performance saloon car developed by Renault Sport Technologies.
Coronel will also be on the grid in Russia after making quite an impression on his debut at the Nürburgring, where he saw for himself that the Eurocup Megane Trophy can be every bit as competitive as the World Touring Car Championship. Having found his bearings, he can now aim for the top.
Finally, Jean-Charles Miginiac (Team Lompech) stole a march on the rest of the drivers in the Gentlemen Drivers category by chalking up two wins in Germany. Third in those standings, Jeroen Schothorst (TDS Racing) will look to capitalise on the absence of Oliver Freymuth (AFK Motorsport) and Michael Munneman (Algarve Pro Racing Team) to close the gap on the leader.