With just a few days to go before pre-season collective testing gets under way, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 grid is close to completion. With a mix of drivers with previous experience in the category and ambitious new faces, the class of 2013 looks promising to say the least.
The 36-strong line-up for the 2013 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season features 21 drivers who have competed in the class before, though several of them have now switched teams. Another change for the new campaign is the appearance of a totally revamped car.
Third in the final standings last season behind Stoffel Vandoorne and Daniil Kvyat, Great Britain’s Oliver Rowland starts as one of the favourites for this year’s crown. The winner of the final race of 2012, Rowland has switched from Fortec to MP Motorsport.
Another race winner last year was Colombia’s Oscar Tunjo, who has joined reigning team champions Kaufmann Racing. Aside from Tunjo, Lotus F1 Junior Team have two other drivers in the Eurocup line-up: Thailand’s Alexander Albon, who will be racing for KTR, and France’s Esteban Ocon, who has signed up for ART Junior Team, previously known as R-Ace GP. Also on the books of the French stable are Andrea Pizzitola and Alex Baron, the 2012 French F4 champion.
World Series by Renault podium finishers all in 2012, Nyck de Vries, Pierre Gasly, Jake Dennis, Mikko Pakari, William Vermont and Guilherme Silva are intent on enhancing their reputations in the months ahead.
A former karting world champion and McLaren Young Driver Development Programme driver, Nyck de Vries is about to embark on his second season with Koiranen Bros, while Pierre Gasly, who claimed two podium finishes last year and a place in the final top ten, will spearhead Tech 1 Racing’s challenge.
For his part Jake Dennis, the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC champion and the first driver to have tested the new Formula Renault 2.0, has opted for continuity by staying put at Fortec Motorsport.
Having got to grips with the Formula Renault 2.0 in ALPS and NEC last season, Bruno Bonifacio takes the step up to Eurocup with Prema Powerteam, who make their return to the class. The Brazilian’s team-mate will be Italy’s Luca Ghiotto. Finally, Aurelien Panis, the son of ex-Formula One driver Olivier, has made the same career move as Bonifacio, moving up from ALPS to Eurocup and sticking with RC Formula in the process.
List of entrants
Arta Engineering (FRA)
William Vermont (FRA)/Leo Roussel (FRA)/Simon Tirman (FRA)
Fortec Motorsport (GBR)
Jake Dennis (GBR)/Mikko Pakari (FIN)/Ed Jones (UAE)
Interwetten Racing (AUT)
Alejandro Abogado (MEX)/TBA
Jenzer Motorsport (SUI)
Kaufmann Racing (GER)
Oscar Tunjo (COL)/Gustav Malja (SWE)/ Steijn Schothorst (NED)
Koiranen Bros (FIN)
Nyck de Vries (NED)/Guilherme Silva (BRA)/Victor Franzoni (BRA)
Yu Kanamaru (JAP)/Ignazio D’Agosto (ITA)/Alex Albon (THA)
MP Motorsport (NED)
Meindert Van Buuren (NED)/Oliver Rowland (GBR)/TBA
Prema Powerteam (ITA)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA)/Bruno Bonifacio (BRA)/TBA
ART Junior Team (FRA)
Esteban Ocon (FRA)/Alex Baron (FRA)/Andrea Pizzitola (FRA)
RC Formula (LUX)
Aurelien Panis (FRA)/TBA
Tech 1 Racing (FRA)
Pierre Gasly (FRA)/Matthieu Vaxiviere (FRA)/Egor Orudzhev (RUS)
2013 collective testing schedule
24-25 February: Motorland Aragon (Spain)
5-6 March: Paul Ricard (France)
16-17 March: Circuit de Catalunya (Spain)
26-27 March: Red Bull Ring (Austria)
World Series by Renault 2013
27-28 April: Motorland Aragon (Spain)
1-2 June: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
22-23 June: Moscow Raceway (Russia)
20-21 July: Red Bull Ring (Austria)
14-15 September: Hungaroring (Hungary)
28-29 September: Paul Ricard (France)
19-20 October: Circuit de Catalunya (Spain)