Always a popular round among the competitors, the Nürburgring hosts round eight of the Formula Renault Eurocup this weekend. On a circuit chalk-full of history and that has an unpredictable microclimate, the on-track battles promise to be as intense as ever!
Liked by all for the technical challenge it poses, this circuit is often conducive to unforgettable battles where driver skill can make the difference… thus it was not a coincidence that Valtteri Bottas, Stoffel Vandoorne, Jack Aitken and Sacha Fenestraz all won at the Nürburgring in the same year they won the title!
Will Lundgaard keep the momentum going?
With two pole positions, two fastest race laps, a win and a second place Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport) made a near perfect return to competition in Budapest. This strong showing saw him reclaim the general classification lead with an eight point lead from Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing), the only driver that prevented him from running the table.
The duel should continue in Germany. The Danish member of the Renault Sport Academy intends to rely on the strong from he showed at the pre-season tests to keep his momentum going while the Chinese driver returns to the circuit where he took three podium finishes last year, including one in the Formula Renault Eurocup. And he will be doubly motivated to retake the lead on his team’s home track!
Behind the two leaders, Max Fewtrell and Victor Martins will have to combine consistency and speed to close the gap to their rivals. Strong results from them could see R-ace GP win its second consecutive team title as early as this weekend.
Six contenders in contention
This weekend in the Eifel could also be a decisive moment of the season for six contenders who are still mathematically in the title chase.
Back on the podium at the Hungaroring, Lorenzo Colombo (JD Motorsport) wants to keep pushing to conserve his chances. A points’ finisher twice in Hungary, Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP) has the same goal. Charles Milesi (R-ace GP), who made his Formula Renault Eurocup on this track, hopes to return to the top spot of the podium, which has eluded him since Monaco.
Further back, three Australians are still in the hunt. Back on form at the Hungaroring, Alex Peroni (MP Motorsport) aims to pull away from Oscar Piastri (Arden Motorsport), who, after a string of top results, is just four points behind. Meanwhile, Thomas Maxwell (JD Motorsport) intends to bounce back after failing to score points in a race meeting for the first time of the season!
On the attack!
No longer in contention for the title, Red Bull Junior Team driver Neil Verhagen (Tech 1 Racing) now has to fight for supremacy in his team, because Alexander Smolyar (Tech 1 Racing) is just two points behind. Both want to move up the general classification, as does Arthur Rougier (Fortec Motorsports), who is just behind.
In Germany, Thomas Neubauer (Tech 1 Racing), Frank Bird (Tech 1 Racing) and Raúl Guzmán (Fortec Motorsports) have ambitions of returning to the top ten. For the Mexican driver, the interest is two-fold if he wants to quickly retake the advantage from his countryman Axel Matus (AVF by Adrián Vallés), who scored his first points of 2018 in Hungary.
The objective for Eliseo Martinez (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Clément Novalak (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Najiy Razak (JD Motorsport), Christian Muñoz (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and Freek Schothorst (MP Motorsport) is simple: emulate Sami Taoufik (Arden Motorsport), who claimed his first point in Budapest.
Once again, the field will include competitors from the Formula Renault NEC, including the German leaders Doureid Ghattas and Phil Hill (Anders Motorsport), who hope to take advantage of their knowledge of the track.
3 No driver has yet managed to take more than three consecutive podium finishes this season. This was also the case in 2006, 2013 and 2015.
9 Christian Lundgaard is on a run of nine consecutive races in the top ten, which was also accomplished earlier this season by Yifei Ye and Victor Martins.
10 Only 10 title contenders remain.
14.5 R-ace GP can conserve its title if it scores 14.5 points more than MP Motorsport. Josef Kaufmann Racing needs to score 49.5 points more than R-ace GP to maintain its chances.
1994 Victorious at the Nürburgring before winning the Formula Renault Eurocup title, James Matthews is now a tabloid headliner after marrying Pippa Middleton.
2008 Since 2008, each time the Nürburgring has been on the calendar, the winner or one of the winners went on to win the title.
Friday September 14, 2018
8:45–9:35 Collective tests 1
13:35–14:25 Collective tests 2
Saturday September 15 2018
8:45–9:20 Qualifying 1
12:45–13:20 Race 1
Sunday September 16, 2018
9:00–9:35 Qualifying 2
14:20–14:55 Race 2