Circuit Paul Ricard marks the end of the summer break for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 competitors. Venue for the fifth meeting of the season, which enters its sprint final, the French track will weed out the list of contenders for the title and financial support on offer. The Renault Sport Racing school of champions will share the billing with the Renault Sport Trophy and European Le Mans Series from August 26 - 28.
This year, Circuit Paul Ricard returns to the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 calendar. The same demanding track that was the venue where new F1 driver Esteban Ocon won for the first time in the category in 2013. The protagonists can rely on the two days of collective tests in March to inflate their chance of success.
Everyone against Lando Norris ?
Already the leader of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing also took command of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC with a double win at Spa and a victory at Assen this summer. Holder of the new track record since last March, the British rookie will, once again, be the favourite in France.
The only driver to break up the run of his rival in NEC, Max Defourny (R-ace GP) wants revenge after barely losing his terrific duel with Lando Norris at the Red Bull Ring. Third in the general classification, Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés) will try to steal away points from his opponents, while Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing) will try to capitalize on home support to stay in contention.
Intense battle for the top five
Those competitors behind the top four must imperatively score big points to maintain their fading chances for the title. Before the hiatus, Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing) moved up to fifth place, but the Indian is under direct threat from team mate Robert Shwartzman (Josef Kaufmann Racing), who left Austria empty-handed.
The members of the Sahara Force India Academy and SMP Racing will also be in the sights of Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing), Ferdinand Habsburg (Fortec Motorsports), Will Palmer (R-ace GP) and Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés). Just outside the top ten, Switzerland’s Hugo de Sadeleer (Tech 1 Racing) is one of the few who have actually already raced on this configuration of the track.
The Swiss driver would like to make the most of his experience to move up in the general classification and distance himself from Bruno Baptista (Fortec Motorsports), Alexey Korneev (JD Motorsport, but also Julien Falchero (R-ace GP) and Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing), who will race in their home country.
They have nothing to lose
Already eliminated from the title race, James Allen (JD Motorsport) will try do something special after his first podium result in the Formula Renault 2.0 at Spa last month, like Alex Perullo (Technorace), who is in search of points. Wild card entries, Antoni Ptak (Cram Motorsport), Nikita Triotskiy (Fortec Motorsports), Finlay Hutchison (JD Motorsport) and Ghislain Cordeel (GMMA Formula Racing) complete the list of entries in France.
Jean-Pascal Dauce, Renault Sport Racing Director of Customer Competition Programs : “The season enters the final stretch and it is always one of the most exciting times of the year. We are very happy to return to such a technical circuit where driving skill can make a genuine difference in the moment where the race for the title becomes clearer. It will be vital to find a good compromise, while perfecting the string of corners to maintain one’s chance of success. With an incredibly high level of competition, the battle will be on the boil up and down the grid. The show promises to be massive and the duels fierce !”
Spectators will have free access to the Village where the Clio R.S. 16 and Twingo GT will be on display alongside the Renault range, the Dacia roadshow and other activities, including the Freestyl’air Show, pit-stop challenge and Big Jump.
Friday 26 August 2016
10h15 – 11h05 Collective test 1
13h45 – 14h35 Collective test 2
Saturday 27 August 2016
10h30 – 11h00 Qualifying 1
12h50 – 13h20 Race 1
Sunday 28 August 2016
8h20 – 8h50 Qualifying 2
11h05 – 11h35 Race 2