For its 45th year in existence, the Formula Renault 2.0 put on a fantastic show, while allowing young hopefuls the chance to hone their talents in one of the most competitive categories in all of motor racing. Louis Delétraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Dan Wells (BlackArts Racing by KCMG)stood out winning titles as did Jack Aitken (Koiranen GP), who succeeded Nyck de Vries in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS record books.
AITKEN JACK CONQUERS THE EUROCUP FORMULA RENAULT 2.0
History was made in the Renault Sport school of champions with eight different drivers striding on to the top step of the podium in 2015. And all were still in contention for the title at the season finale held at Circuito de Jerez!
Early season leader after two victories at Motorland Aragón and another at the Hungaroring, Louis Delétraz had an advantage before outside Jack Aitken took over with two wins on the Saturday at Jerez, adding to those taken in Budapest, at Silverstone and the Nürburgring.
While Anthoine Hubert (Tech 1 Racing), Jake Hughes (Koiranen GP), Ukyo Sasahara (ART Junior Team), Dennis Olsen (Manor MP Motorsport) and Ben Barnicoat (Fortec Motorsports) were eliminated from the title race, the Fortec Motorsports driver won the Sunday race in which Louis Delétraz and Kevin Jörg couldn’t buck the trend. The Swiss duo had to settle for bringing Josef Kaufmann Racing another title in the discipline.
In following in the footsteps of such drivers like Felipe Massa, Kamui Kobayashi, Filipe Albuquerque, Brendon Hartley, Valtteri Bottas, Robin Frijns, Stoffel Vandoorne and Pierre Gasly in the record books of the category, Jack Aitken is the first British champion since James Matthews in 1994! The rookie of the year, Harrison Scott (AVF) might try to imitate him in 2016.
JACK AITKEN MAKES IT TWO TITLES WITH THE FORMULA RENAULT 2.0 ALPS
Seven different drivers experienced victory in 2015 in the always extremely competitive Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS. Winner in three of the first four races, Anthoine Hubert was absent from the general classification due to his status as a “wildcard” driver. Triumphant at Imola, Jack Aitken moved to the sharp end of the order before going on for a double-victory at the Red Bull Ring before giving up ground to Jake Hughes after suffering an injury at Monza.
Meanwhile, Thiago Vivacqua (JD Motorsport), Matevos Isaakyan (JD Motorsport), Stefan Riener (Koiranen GP/Fortec Motorsports) and Vasily Romanov (Cram Competition) were all in contention up to the final round at Jerez. Wild card entries Anthoine Hubert and Ben Barnicoat won in Andalusia ahead of Jack Aitken, who prevented his team mate from taking the title thanks to an amazing comeback drive in the very last race of the season!
LOUIS DELÉTRAZ TAKES CONSOLES HIMSELF WITH THE TITLE IN FORMULA RENAULT 2.0 NEC
While he lost in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Louis Delétraz consoled himself with the title in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC two weeks earlier. With nine wins and 12 podiums, the Geneva native clinched the championship at Hockenheim thanks to a mega triple to pull away from his team mate Kevin Jörg and Ukyo Sasahara.
Fourth overall, Max Defourny (ART Junior Team) took rookie of the year honours ahead of la Sahara Force India Academy protégé, Jehan Daruvala (Fortec Motorsports), and RACB driver, Dries Vanthoor (Josef Kaufmann Racing) at the end of a season where Josef Kaufmann Racing and ART Junior Team shared the victories.
DAN WELLS OPENS A NEW ERA IN THE ASIAN FORMULA RENAULT SERIES
In the Asian Formula Renault Series, 2015 marked the arrival of the latest generation of the Formula Renault 2.0 on the Asian Continent. Champion with the older car, Maxx Ebenal (BlackArts Racing) began this new chapter in style with two wins at the season opening meeting at Zhuhai. The Canadian driver then saw his hopes dissipate gradually as Dan Wells imposed is incredible pace on the category.
After racing against the likes of Oliver Rowland and Daniil Kyvat in Europe in 2011, the British expatriate moved to Asia to pursue his career and raced in Formula Renault 2.0 this season. After an adaptation weekend, Dan Wells became invincible, winning ten consecutive races to clinch the title ahead of Garnet Patterson (KCMG).
THE BEST WAY TO PREPARE
At the conclusion of the 2015 season several Formula Renault 2.0 drivers took part in the Rookie Tests of other championships, like Jack Aitken, Jake Hughes, Kevin Jörg, Matevos Isaakyan, etc. in GP3, and Louis Delétraz in DTM.
They all did an excellent job, like Jörg and Hughes (P2 and P3 respectively in the cumulated classification). They showed that the Formula Renault 2.0 is one of the best ways to prepare the future of these young champions. All throughout the year they have been trained to handle the sporting demands and the technical rigors of high-performance open-wheel race cars.