WSbR Max the menace

Le Mans Race 2

The Belgian national anthem rang out at Le Mans as Maxime Martin (Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing) picked up his fifth race win of the season. Michaël Rossi (TDS) was second, with Matthieu Cheruy (Tech 1 Racing) in third. Martin's win puts him within seven points of Michaël Rossi in the Eurocup Mégane Trophy overall standings.From the off, Maxime Martin drew level with poleman Dimitri Enjalbert (Tech 1 Racing). Things got messy at the Dunlop chicane, where Jonathan Hirschi (Tech 1 Racing) hit Michaël Rossi, who in turn made contact with Enjalbert. The winner of yesterday's race span off and was forced to retire due to a damaged right-hand rear wheel. Jonathan Hirschi, who started from fourth on the grid, also lost ground as a result. At the end of lap 1, Maxime Martin was out in front, with Matthieu Cheruy and Michaël Rossi his nearest rivals.

Rossi wasted no time in powering past Cheruy and got right up on Martin's tail. Lorenzo Bontempelli (Oregon Team) was lying in fourth place, ahead of Jean-Philippe Madonia (TDS) and Sébastien Douailly (Team Lompech Sport). Having started from twentieth position on the grid, the Frenchman climbed 14 places in just two laps!

At the front of the field, Maxime Martin and Michaël Rossi were neck-and-neck. Third-placed Matthieu Cheruy lost his rear extractor, but the Tech 1 driver managed to keep up his momentum and pulled away from Bontempelli. The Italian driver had his work cut out trying to hold off a resurgent Sébastien Dhouailly, who soon moved past him into fourth spot.

In a bid to get ahead, Maxime Martin opted to refuel early, at the end of lap 7. Rossi waited three laps more before heading in for his mandatory stop, and rejoined the race just behind Martin.

Once all the drivers had refueled, Maxime Martin once again found himself at the front, with an advantage of more than four seconds over Michaël Rossi. The battle for third spot was a closer affair, with Mathieu Cheruy, Sébastien Dhouailly and Fabrice Walfisch (Oregon Team) all in contention. In the end, Cheruy got away from the others and the third place on the podium was his.

For the fifth time this season, Maxime Martin was the first man to cross the finish line, with Michaël Rossi claiming second place. Just seven points now separate the two men. Some way adrift in third place, Dimitri Enjalbert can now kiss his title hopes goodbye.

Maxime Martin: «This was an important win in the context of the championship. I got a good start. I don't really know what went on behind me, but I found myself on my own at the front. The team made a great job of the pit stop, which sealed the win for me. The last two races are going to be interesting. I won at Estoril last year, and I hope to perform well again this time around.»

Michaël Rossi: «The start was chaotic. I was being bumped from all sides! To finish second today was a decent result compared to our performances in qualifying and in race 1. We weren't good enough to challenge for victory here. I like the Estoril circuit and I'll be hoping to get back to winning ways there.»

Matthieu Cheruy: «The start was tough. I owe this podium finish to my team, who made a perfect job of the pit stop. It's nice to be back on the podium.»

Pos Number Driver  Team  Laps Time GapFirst KPH 

1 8 Maxime MARTIN Boutsen Energy Racing 24 42:16.122 - 145.3   2 12 Michaël ROSSI TDS 24 42:21.639 +5.517 145.4   3 2 Matthieu CHERUY Tech 1 Racing 1 24 42:37.861 +21.739 144.4   4 15 Sébastien DHOUAILLY Team Lompech Sport 24 42:42.824 +26.702 144.5   5 24 Fabrice WALFISCH Oregon Team 1 24 42:45.583 +29.461 145.2   6 25 Lorenzo BONTEMPELLI Oregon Team 1 24 42:52.518 +36.396 144.1   7 7 Bernhard TEN BRINKE Equipe Verschuur 1 24 42:55.038 +38.916 144.3   8 14 Jean - Philippe MADONIA TDS 24 43:02.752 +46.630 143.9   9 20 Wim BEELEN Equipe Verschuur 2 24 43:15.115 +58.993 143.3   10 9 David DERMONT Boutsen Energy Racing 24 43:30.026 +1:13.904 142.3   11 11 Andreas MAYERL Race Performance 24 43:41.689 +1:25.567 143.2   12 4 Bernard DELHEZ Tech 1 Racing 2 24 43:46.551 +1:30.429 141.3   13 17 Pierre HIRSCHI Team Lompech Sport 24 43:55.537 +1:39.415 140.9   14 16 Jean - Charles MIGINIAC Team Lompech Sport 24 43:56.162 +1:40.040 141.2   15 22 Marguerite LAFFITE Boutsen Energy Racing 24 44:00.249 +1:44.127 140.6   16 6 Harrie KOLEN Equipe Verschuur 1 23 42:40.170 1 Lap 140.4   17 73 Angelo BAIGUERA Oregon Team 1 23 42:58.187 1 Lap 138.9   18 18 Rafael UNZURRUNZAGA Blue Jumeirah Team 23 43:26.617 1 Lap 137.6     21 Hoevert VOS Equipe Verschuur 2 15 28:11.043   143.3     3 Jonathan HIRSCHI Tech 1 Racing 2 5 9:26.693   140.5     1 Dimitri ENJALBERT Tech 1 Racing 1 0        

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