French favourite Davy Jeanney secures first heat, building on runaway time gained in official timed practice. It was Tanner Foust who stood in the way of an all French top three. Skorupski takes Super1600s, Anton Marklund continues his domination of the TouringCars.
Home driver Davy Jeanney went fastest this afternoon. The C4 driver showed superb smoothness throughout both the official timed practice session and first heat, which ran at 16.00. Almost three seconds faster, Jeanney looked to have led a French resistance. But it was an American who stood in the way of a French SuperCar white wash.
Foust drove an amazing heat, throwing his Fiesta around corners. Clio driver, Jérôme Grosset-Janin initially led Foust’s race, but fell short during the final lap, where Foust made a list ditch lunge through the second bend and managed to hold on to cross the line triumph. Speaking after he said: “Now this is Jeanney’s heat too lose. The conditions are bad, although the track is great to drive on. This is a good start, and we will see what tomorrow brings.” Grosset-Janin was subsequently rewarded for his efforts and finished third fastest in the heat and Marc Laboulle continued home attack, proving that local knowledge does pay off, after securing fourth fastest in the heat. The top British finisher was Liam Doran. Doran made a daring outside sprint off the line, but made contact with Jeanney. A rapid response looked to be enough, but he was unable to repair lost time.
Pole Krzysztof Skorupski became the fastest Super1600 driver, after today’s first qualifying heat. Dane Ulrik Linnemann finished second fastest, was closely trailed by René Munnich, but later on became disqualified from second place. Russian Vadim Makarov drove a great heat to secure fourth fastest, with David Deslandes finishing as the quickest French Super1600 driver.
Anton Marklund was the fastest TouringCar driver. The Swede improved a disappointing seventh place finish in the second free practice, to go quickest in the official timed practice session, then gaining fastest in heat one. The Czech power-house, Roman Častoral was again a top finisher in his Opel Astra G, although only narrowly faster than Irish competitor Derek Tohill.
Non-stop rain here at Dreux has caused conditions on track to be utterly horrendous. Nevertheless, a combination of an extremely well prepared track and great driving skill from all competitors, has led to thrilling action all round.