One year after making its debut, the Renault Sport Trophy returns to Circuit Spa-Francorchamps for a penultimate meeting that could see some drivers seal their destinies. Joining the European Le Mans Series and Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, the Renault Sport R.S. 01s will also share the bill with the Renault Sport Formula One Team with reserve driver Nicholas Latifi behind the wheel in the demonstration runs.
The technical and ultra-fast, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is the only stop on the calendar where the category has already competed at. Put in other terms, the battles will be intense on the legendary track as the final sprint of the season accelerates !
A step towards the title for Schothorst ?
PRO category leader, Pieter Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) hopes to continue his domination since Austria to close in on the title, which could be made easier if his rivals make a mistake !
His closest adversaries, beginning with David Fumanelli (Oregon Team), who is still looking for his first win, must absolutely finish ahead to keep their chances alive going in to the season finale at Estoril. The Italian will nevertheless have to cope with Kevin Korjus (R-ace GP) and the returning Markus Palttala (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0), who are also eyeing the selection test with the factory NISMO team in Super GT.
Further back in the general classification, Tanart Sathienthirakul (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0) ; Nicky Pastorelli (V8 Racing), Dario Capitanio (Oregon Team), Raoul Owens (R-ace GP), Jordan Grogor (V8 Racing) and Lonni Martins (Duqueine Engineering) will have to come up big to keep their dreams alive.
Finally, Anders Fjordbach (High Class Racing), Rodrigo Baptista (Oregon Team), Meindert van Buuren (V8 Racing), 2015 championship runner-up Steijn Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) and superstar Robert Kubica (Duqueine Engineering) will have nothing to lose and will try to play the spoiler in Belgium.
The AM category could change dramatically
50 points will be up for grabs among the Amateurs in Belgium. While Fran Rueda (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0) has used consistency to take the overall lead from team mate Fabian Schiller (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0), the dropping of the worst result of the season could see the German clinch the title this weekend if he runs the table and his rivals fail to score points.
The German will have to carry an extra 65 kilograms of success ballast compared to the 45kgs for his team mate. Against them, Fredrik Blomstedt (R-ace GP), who picked up his maiden victory at the previous round, will hope to take advantage of this internal battle to put in a strong showing despite 55kgs of ballast.
Miguel Ramos (Equipe Verschuur), Andrés Méndez (Oregon Team) and Christophe Hamon (Duqueine Engineering) have to be solid to stay in the race for the title despite their respective handicaps of 50, 0 and 10 kgs.
Further back, Jeroen Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur will have to pull away from Carmen Jorda (V8 Racing), Dennis Andersen (High Class Racing), Davide Roda and Jelle Bellen (V8 Racing), who will carry an added 30 kgs this weekend. Philippe Haezebrouck (R-ace GP), Philippe Bourgois (Duqueine Engineering), Diederik Sijthoff (V8 Racing) and Adalberto Baptista (Oregon Team) will all make their returns to the field at Spa-Francorchamps.
The tone is rising in Endurance
Markus Palttala and Fabian Schiller (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0) will reunite to resume their march towards the title in the Ardennes. The duo has a slim eight point advantage from Fredrik Blomstedt, who is now teamed with Raoul Owens (R-ace GP) and is ten to the good from Kevin Korjus, who will line-up with Philippe Haezebrouck (R-ace GP).
While the three crews are determined to rebound following a low-profile round in France, three other tandems want to keep their momentum going. Tanart Sathienthirakul – Fran Rueda (Team Marc VDS EG 0,0) will aim for a second consecutive victory, Pieter and Jeroen Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur) want another podium result, as does Miguel Ramos, who this time will share the driving duties with Steijn Schothorst (Equipe Verschuur). On the other hand, the pairing of David Fumanelli – Andres Mendez (Oregon Team) doesn’t have control of their fate, even if they win.
The podium is very far in the distance for Jordan Grogor – Carmen Jorda (V8 Racing), Nicky Pastorelli – Jelle Beelen (V8 Racing) and Anders Fjordbach – Dennis Andersen (High Class Racing). It is the same story for Dario Capitanio (Oregon Team), who will not do the double in Endurance with Davide Roda (Oregon Team), but also the family crew composed of Rodrigo Baptista and Adalberto Baptista (Oregon Team), as well as Lonni Martins – Philippe Bourgois (Duqueine Engineering), Robert Kubica – Christophe Hamon (Duqueine Engineering) and Meindert van Buuren – Diederik Sijthoff (V8 Racing), these drivers will be able to compete without any pressure to make an impression.
Programme and TV
Canadian Nicholas Latifi will light up the track several times per day during the F1 demonstrations with the E20 powered by the Renault V8 that claimed five world championships. The Renault Sport Formula One Team reserve driver and former competitor in the World Series by Renault will return to Spa-Francorchamps one month after competing in the GP2 Series.
Spectators will also be able to enjoy the activities in the Village, including the Freestyl’air Show, the display of the Renault range with the Clio R.S.16 and road safety activities, makeup booths and inflatable structures for the kids.
The weekend’s two races will be streamed on the Renault Sport Youtube channel. A highlight show will be aired on a delayed basis on the Eurosport Group channels.
Friday 23 September 2016
9h00 – 9h55 Collective test 1
13h05 – 14h00 Collective test 2
17h05 – 18h00 Collective test 3
Saturday 24 September 2016
9h00 – 9h20 Qualifying PRO
12h45 – 13h05 Qualifying AM
15h47 – 16h59 Endurance Race
Sunday 25 September 2016
9h47 – 10h14 Sprint Race AM
12h12 – 12h39 Sprint Race PRO