Since 2010, Motorland Aragón has hosted the opening round of the World Series by Renault. Now a classic on the calendar, the Herman Tilke designed circuit will be a wash in the colours of the French carmaker over two days.
Alongside the resumption of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 there will be many surprises throughout the meeting : collector parade, stunt driving in the Renault Sport Show and demonstrations runs of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1. Moving on to F1 after winning the title in World Series by Renault headliner category in 2014, Carlos Sainz will be at the wheel of the RB8 and will offer the spectators a unique chance to appreciate the performance of a Formula 1 car.
In the Renault Village, visitors of all ages will be immersed in the Renault universe. From Exhibitions and free attractions, to driving simulators and Pit Stop Challenge and bouncy castles, the World Series by Renault promises families much more than just a weekend of racing.
Formula Renault 3.5 Series : place your bets
With a minimum of six different winners per year since the creation of the category in 2005, every season has been hotly contested. Following the collective tests this winter, the competitors are now ready to begin a 2015 edition more competitive than ever
This first confrontation is full of promise. Topping the list of contenders, Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) returns to battle for the title with a team he knows well. Fourth last year, the Englishman scored his first triumph at Motorland Aragón. However, he will have to beware of Roberto Merhi (Pons Racing). Third in 2014, the Manor F1 driver is taking on a stout challenge in joining a team whose last podium result dates back to 2011.
Against them, the DAMS team lines up 2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 winner, Nyck de Vries. The McLaren Young Driver Development Programme protégé will attempt to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors : Robin Frijns, Stoffel Vandoorne and Pierre Gasly, all formidable competitors in their debut season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. At his side, Dean Stoneman returns to a category he first raced in 2010 before putting his career on hold. Runner-up in the GP3 Series, the Englishman is now a member of the Red Bull Junior Team and is now a serious contender in the team that has monopolized the titles since 2013.
Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus) will too be a candidate. The Lotus F1 Junior Team driver shined during the off-season in dominating four consecutive test sessions, including three at Motorland Aragón where he also scored a pair of victories in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 two years ago. For their part, Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) and Jazeman Jaafar (Fortec Motorsports) have raised their objectives for their third season respectively in the category.
After competing in their maiden Formula Renault 3.5 campaigns, Meindert van Buuren (Lotus) and fellow Dutch driver Beitske Visser (AVF) will want to move up to the sharp end of the order. It is the same objective for Alfonso Celis (AVF) and Nicholas Latifi (Arden Motorsport), who ran on occasion with Tech 1 Racing in 2014. By his side, the French team is putting their confidence in two rookies : Aurélien Panis and Roy Nissany, the sons of Olivier Panis and Chanoch Nissany.
The fastest man at the Jerez tests, Tio Ellinas (Strakka Racing) will be another driver to watch. Among the other debutants worth following their progression will be Egor Orudzhev (Arden Motorsport), Gustav Malja (Strakka Racing) and Bruno Bonifacio (International Draco Racing), all coming straight from the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Philo Paz Armand (Pons Racing) and Sean Gelael (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) will also be contenders for rookie of the year honours. The Indonesian driver will team with the experienced Tom Dillmann (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) for the returning Carlin team, which has won three titles in the category.
Race 1 : Saturday 25 April at 14h30
Race 2 : Sunday 26 April at 13h30
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 : the race for 500,000€ is launched
A category with a history of revealing numerous motor racing talents, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 sees its 2015 edition coincide with the Formula Renault’s 45th season.
The six days of collective tests saw the drivers break the Circuit Le Mans Bugatti, Motorland Aragón and Circuito de Jerez track records. With eight different men at the top of the time sheet, it will be an intense battle to succeed Nyck de Vries and claim the 500,000€ sponsorship to move on to the next level.
Runner-up to the Dutchman, Dennis Olsen (Manor MP Motorsport) and his new team were discreet during the off-season but are among the favourites. However, the competition is stout, beginning with 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 NEC champion, Ben Barnicoat (Fortec Motorsports), who is also a McLaren and Racing Steps Foundation protégé.
Defending team champion, Koiranen GP enters a trio composed of Formula Renault 1.6 NEC Junior title winner Anton De Pasquale, 2013 BRDC F4 champion Jake Hughes, and Jack Aitken. Victorious at Budapest last year, the British-Korean driver is already the leader in the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS after sharing top honours at Imola with Anthoine Hubert (Tech 1 Racing) on April 11 and 12.
The Frenchman returns in order to validate the hopes placed in him, as are Callan O’Keeffe (Fortec Motorsports), Simon Gachet (Tech 1 Racing), James Allen (ARTA Engineering) as well as Kevin Jörg (Josef Kaufmann Racing), who finished on the podium at Alcañiz in 2014.
Other drivers also want to mix it up with the leaders. Regularly among the quickest during the collective tests, Ukyo Sasahara (ART Junior Team) and Louis Delétraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing), second in the 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 NEC, both scored a win at Monza in the opening round of the NEC last weekend.
With six titles in the category, JD Motorsport makes its return with Thiago Vivacqua and Matevos Isaakyan, third in the 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS. Two drivers to follow in Spain, as well as Martin Kodrić (Fortec Motorsports), Luke Chudleigh (Fortec Motorsports), Darius Oskoui (ART Junior Team), Hugo de Sadeleer (Tech 1 Racing), Amaury Richard (ARTA Engineering), Harrison Scott (AVF), Iñigo Bikuña (AVF), Charlie Eastwood (Strakka Racing), Thiago Vivacqua (JD Motorsport), Ignazio D’Agosto (Manor MP Motorsport) and defending French F4 champion Lasse Sørensen (Manor MP Motorsport).
Race 1 : Saturday 25 April at 12h40
Race 2 : Saturday 25 April at 16h20
Race 3 : Sunday 26 April at 12h15
The two Formula Renault 3.5 Series races will be aired live on Eurosport International, Eurosport UK and Eurosport France (Eurosport 2 on Saturday). The Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 will be available on a delayed basis on Eurosport 2. The entire meeting will be broadcast live on the Eurosport Player ; the live-timing will be available on the worldseriesbyrenault.com site.
“It is a tradition to debut the World Series by Renault at Motorland Aragón”, details Jean-Pascal Dauce, Director of Competition for Renault Sport Technologies. “Since our first visit in 2009, the show has always lived up to expectations on a track offering a true challenge with its elevation changes, heavy braking zones, its blind string of corners and interminable pit straight. We look forward to seeing the impact of the new rules in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, especially with the low downforce aerodynamic configuration on the rear wing for the Saturday race. And this weekend will also be remembered with for the first time, three Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 races !”
Formula Renault 3.5 Series
Qualifying 1 : C. Sainz (ESP) 1:40.418.
Race 1 : 1. C. Sainz (ESP) – 2. N. Martsenko (RUS) – 3 O. Rowland (GBR)
Qualifying 2 : O. Rowland (GBR) 1:39.885.
Race 2 : 1. O. Rowland (GBR) – 2 P. Gasly (FRA) – 3. W. Stevens (GBR)
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
Qualifying 1 : N. de Vries (NED) 1:55.474.
Race 1 : 1. N. de Vries (NED) – 2. E. Orudzhev (RUS) – 3 B. Bonifacio (BRA)
Qualifying 2 : A. Pizzitola (FRA) 1:55.793.
Race 2 : 1. A. Pizzitola (FRA) – 2 K. Jörg (SUI) – 3. B. Bonifacio (BRA)