Two weeks before the first collective tests, the Formula Renault Eurocup is assured of having 30 young and talented drivers for the 2017 season. Defending their chances on Europe’s finest circuits, they also represent nine of the most respected teams in motorsport.
Spread among nine teams, the 30 title contenders will come together on March 15 at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the tests which will kick off a campaign that will take them to 10 European tracks, including Pau and Monaco. With the presence of two F1 driver development programmes, the Red Bull Junior Team and Renault Sport Academy as well as those of SMP Racing and Escudería Telmex, the season promises to be outstanding!
Josef Kaufmann Racing
Sacha Fenestraz (FRA) – Luis Leeds (AUS) – Ye Yifei (CHN)
Eurocup Driver Titles (2011, 2012, 2016) and Teams (2012, 2015, 2016)
NEC Driver Titles (2015, 2016) and Teams (2014, 2015, 2016)
Lars Kaufmann, Team Manager: "We are very much looking forward to the 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup with all the modifications Renault has made. As usual, we have been preparing our cars during the winter with all the needed precision. Our 2017 driver line-up is a good mix of experienced and rookie drivers and they have all shown good pace so far. We will continue to carry out the same work we’ve done for the past six years in the Formula Renault Eurocup and hope that this year will be another successful one!"
Tech 1 Racing
Gabriel Aubry (FRA) – Max Fewtrell (GBR) – Thomas Maxwell (AUS) – Thomas Neubauer (FRA)
Eurocup Driver Title (2013) and Teams (2010, 2013)
Alps Driver Title (2011) and Teams (2011, 2013)
Simon Abadie, Team Manager: "I am very happy with the team we will enter for our eighth season in the Formula Renault Eurocup. The team is a mix of talent, experience and performance fully invested in its work. Winter testing confirmed our choices. We have excellent chemistry and one objective: win back the two European Championships after the title we won in 2010 and our two crowns achieved in 2013. We look forward to returning to the track and see our drivers run up front in one of the most competitive categories in motorsport."
Max Defourny (BEL) – Raúl Guzmán (MEX) – Will Palmer (GBR) – Robert Shwartzman (RUS)
Eurocup Runner-up Teams (2013)
NEC Runner-up Drivers (2016) and Teams (2015, 2016)
Thibaut de Mérindol, Team Manager: “We are currently putting our organisation in place and preparing our cars. It is a crucial step that will ensure the season runs smoothly. We are now operational and we have to now painstakingly work on the details just until the start of the season. We are confident about the quality of the team that we have built over the past several seasons. I sense the team is stimulated by the level of the drivers that we will enter. R-ace GP will enter four extremely quick drivers, of which three enjoyed success in the Formula Renault Eurocup last season. Their objective is to capitalize on their experience in order to fight for the title. We only have one team order, may the best win! Raúl Guzmán, who finished third in F4 Italia in 2016, confirmed his potential during our winter test. He will have the chance to quickly learn the subtleties of the category from his team mates in order to position himself as the most threatening of the outsiders. Without a doubt the titles are, more than ever, our objectives!"
AVF by Adrián Vallés
Henrique Chaves (PRT) – Axel Matus (MEX) – Rodrigo Pflucker (PER) – Grégoire Saucy (CHE)
Eurocup Rookie of the year (2015)
Formula V8 3.5 Teams Champion (2016)
Adrián Vallés, Team Manager: "Each season brings its share of new things and we never know what to expect. Nevertheless, we are ready and confident to race for the victory even though the field consists of solid contenders among the returnees and newcomers. We will continue our collaboration with Henrique, who should take a step forward in his second complete season. We hope to see him consistently in the top five. His team mate Rodrigo could spring a surprise if he continues to improve as he did during winter testing. Axel won the NACAM F4 and Formula Panam titles and was also competitive in the French F4 Championship. Grégoire knows the car after starring in V de V. Both of them should quickly be on pace and we are happy to have them in the team."
Frank Bird (GBR) – Alexey Korneev (RUS) – Alex Peroni (AUS) – Najiy Ayyad Bin Abd Razak (MYS)
NEC Driver Titles (2012, 2013, 2014) and Teams (2012)
Alps Junior Titles (2014) and Runner-up Teams (2014)
UK Driver Titles (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007) and Teams (2006, 2007, 2008, 2011)
Martin Young, Team Manager: ”Everything is ready! The cars are built, we have done a lot of preparation and simulator work. We are looking forward to being back on the track! Alexey returns for his second season in the Formula Renault Eurocup and we want to build on that. After his impressive winter testing and outing in Estoril, we have exciting expectations of Alex and the team rates him highly. The same goes for Najiy. He knows the car, he finished 3rd in Asian Formula Renault, but the European tracks will be new to him. Finally, Frank comes from F4 and we’re looking forward to contributing to his development and see him run in the top 10. This season should be challenging but we really want to return to the top!"
Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (FRA) – Alexander Vartanyan (RUS) – Sun Yue Yang (CHN)
Eurocup Driver Titles (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999) and Teams (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006)
Germany/NEC Driver Titles (2002) and Teams (2001, 2003, 2006)
Alps Runner-up Teams (2015)
Roberto Cavallari, Team Manager: "The 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup will be one of the most competitive seasons in these past few years with 30 cars in the hands of first-rate drivers and teams. With all three of our drivers being rookies, the title may be hard to add to our 11 drivers and teams titles, but of course we will fight flat-out and hope our drivers can be the ‘surprise’ of this extremely competitive championship."
Mark Burdett Motorsport
Presley Martono (IDN) - Julia Pankiewicz (POL)
BARC Runner-up Drivers (2008)
Third in Formula Renault UK Winter Series (2010)
Mark Burdett, Team Manager: "Mark Burdett Motorsport has been racing in Formula Renault since its introduction in the UK series and the NEC. The team is now ready to step up to the Formula Renault Eurocup. We are delighted that Julia and Presley will be racing for the team this season. Julia tested with us over the winter and made great progress working with the engineer and driver coach. Presley has a good background in karting and was the first winner of the FIA South East Asia Formula 4 Championship. We are looking forward to working with both drivers to achieve our goals."
Jarno Opmeer (NLD) – Neil Verhagen (USA) – Richard Verschoor (NLD)
Eurocup Runner-up Drivers (2013)
NEC Runner-up Drivers (2012) and Teams (2012)
Sander Dorsman, Team Manager: "With a majority of F1-grade circuits, two classic street tracks and ample driving time, the Formula Renault Eurocup’s new format is appealing to teams as well as sponsors, and that’s why we’re back. It’s the ideal training ground for ambitious drivers. With Richard and Neil supported by Red Bull, we hold two strong cards for Formula Renault Eurocup honours. Last year, we all saw Jarno’s huge talent and it is well deserved that he appeared on the Renault F1 team’s radar. The Formula Renault Eurocup will be an amazing education for them, as it’s one of the strongest championships in Europe. At the same time I expect them to be up there right from the start. Their level of talent is that high."
Ghislain Cordeel (BEL) – Zane Goddard (AUS) – Dan Ticktum (GBR)
Newcomers in Formula Renault
International F3000 Titles (2002, 2003, 2004), Italian F3000 (2000), GP3 Series (2012, 2013) and Formula V8 3.5 (2016)
Ben Salter, Team Manager: "The team is really looking forward to what will be our inaugural season in the Formula Renault Eurocup. I believe that with the line-up we have put together it will enable us to hit the ground running and challenge for race wins from the off. With Arden now competing in the Formula Renault Eurocup it completes the ladder all the way through the junior categories for both drivers and personnel, where drivers can enter Arden on the YRDA (Young Racing Driver Academy) programme and advance all the way through the junior programmes right up to GP2. I’m looking forward for official testing to get under way."