WSbR Rossi and Martin neck-and-neck

 Eurocup Mégane Trophy  - Barcelona Collective testing

The final showdown between Michaël Rossi (TDS) and Maxime Martin (Thierry Boutsen Energy Racing) looks like being a close-run affair.

In the first encounter of a weekend which will see one of them crowned Eurocup Mégane Trophy champion, the two men came out with honours even. After two hours of collective testing, the two leaders' best times were just 0.05 of a second apart. Dimitri Enjalbert (Tech 1 Racing), just a tenth of a second slower in third place, again showed the crucial role he could play in deciding the outcome of the title race.

Two hours of collective testing were scheduled for the Eurocup Mégane Trophy drivers at the Barcelona circuit today. Michaël Rossi was the first to make his mark. The Eurocup Mégane Trophy leader was immediately into his stride and improved on his time lap on lap.

Dimitri Enjalbert, who won here last year, soon hit back. The Tech1 Racing driver strung together a series of rapid times and grabbed top spot with a lap timed at 1'54''139 before whittling that down to 1'53''922 to pull further ahead.

Matthieu Cheruy (Tech 1 Racing) was second to his teammate Enjalbert at this stage. But late in the session, Michaël Rossi, who had lost a few minutes when he ran out of fuel, slipped in between the two Tech 1 men. Maxime Martin has followed the same formula all season long: he spends the first session working on his car's handling, without pushing for fast times. He was fourth this morning.

The duel between Rossi and Martin really came into its own in the second session. The Frenchman put in the best performance, clocking 1'53''709 to the Belgian's 1'53''793. The two title contenders were both consistently rapid in the first half hour.

Dimitri Enjalbert stepped up the pace in the second half of the session. A time of 1'53''464 put the Tech 1 Racing driver top of the pile, as he had been in the earlier session. Rossi and Martin wasted no time in hitting back, however. Michaël Rossi eventually came out on top, but once again, there was little to choose between the two: second-placed Martin was just five hundredths of a second slower than his rival.

Michaël Rossi: "It was really close between the two of us, as was to be expected. Three of us finished within a tenth of a second of each other today. From my point of view, we finished in the right order! I'll have to fight hard. It's going to be a real battle. The weather could play its part, as they are forecasting rain for tomorrow. I'm approaching this meeting like any other. Just because the Barcelona meeting is being billed as a final, doesn't mean I'll be putting myself under any additional pressure."

Maxime Martin: "We did what we usually do in collective testing, working on the car without paying attention to what the other drivers were doing. It's not my favourite circuit of the season. I won the Clio title last week, so I'm hoping to keep up my momentum and win here. There's no room for strategy or questions: our goal is to win both races."

Pos Driver Team Time S1 Lap S1 Time S2 Lap S2 Time Gap First Gap Previous 

1 Michaël ROSSI TDS 1:54.148 20 1:53.342 17 1:53.342       2 Maxime MARTIN Boutsen Energy Racing 1:54.625 13 1:53.394 15 1:53.394 +0.052 +0.052   3 Dimitri ENJALBERT Tech 1 Racing 1 1:53.922 6 1:53.464 11 1:53.464 +0.122 +0.070   4 Sébastien DHOUAILLY Team Lompech Sport 1:55.410 13 1:53.847 20 1:53.847 +0.505 +0.383   5 Fabrice WALFISCH Oregon Team 1 1:54.992 14 1:54.132 23 1:54.132 +0.790 +0.285   6 Matthieu CHERUY Tech 1 Racing 1 1:54.196 7 1:54.176 13 1:54.176 +0.834 +0.044   7 David DERMONT Boutsen Energy Racing 1:55.784 6 1:54.225 24 1:54.225 +0.883 +0.049   8 Matthieu LAHAYE Tech 1 Racing 2 1:55.299 19 1:54.353 14 1:54.353 +1.011 +0.128   9 Andreas MAYERL Race Performance 1:55.867 13 1:54.491 12 1:54.491 +1.149 +0.138   10 Jonathan HIRSCHI Tech 1 Racing 2 1:55.540 11 1:54.608 13 1:54.608 +1.266 +0.117   11 Bernhard TEN BRINKE Equipe Verschuur 1 1:54.877 15 1:54.666 16 1:54.666 +1.324 +0.058   12 Nicolas MAULINI Race Performance 1:57.209 16 1:54.721 23 1:54.721 +1.379 +0.055   13 Jean - Philippe MADONIA TDS 1:56.322 5 1:55.012 18 1:55.012 +1.670 +0.291   14 Simone DI LUCA Oregon Team 1:57.614 18 1:55.151 17 1:55.151 +1.809 +0.139   15 Hoevert VOS Equipe Verschuur 2 1:56.902 13 1:55.354 18 1:55.354 +2.012 +0.203   16 Wim BEELEN Equipe Verschuur 2 1:56.185 4 1:55.407 19 1:55.407 +2.065 +0.053   17 Harrie KOLEN Equipe Verschuur 1 1:58.722 15 1:55.652 25 1:55.652 +2.310 +0.245   18 Robert VAN DE BERG Oregon Team 1:57.201 15 1:55.990 16 1:55.990 +2.648 +0.338   19 Bernard DELHEZ Tech 1 Racing 2 1:57.263 12 1:56.261 16 1:56.261 +2.919 +0.271   20 Pierre HIRSCHI Team Lompech Sport 1:58.297 14 1:57.146 22 1:57.146 +3.804 +0.885   21 Jean - Charles MIGINIAC Team Lompech Sport 1:58.846 13 1:57.391 20 1:57.391 +4.049 +0.245   22 Angelo BAIGUERA Oregon Team 1 2:00.750 5 1:57.956 6 1:57.956 +4.614 +0.565   23 Rafael UNZURRUNZAGA Blue Jumeirah Team 2:01.389 11 1:59.625 18 1:59.625 +6.283 +1.669