Despite a mixed season where the team finished seventh in the general classification, Fortec Motorsports returned to the top step of the podium in the Formula Renault Eurocup. After having Renault Sport Formula One Team development driver Oliver Rowland, FIA F2 Champion, Charles Leclerc and 2017 IndyCar Series rookie of the year, Ed Jones race for him in the past, Team Manager Martin Young reviews the season.
Despite four titles in NEC and eight in the United Kingdom, the Formula Renault Eurocup has yet to be added to list of accomplishments of the team that fielded the quartet of SMP Racing backed Alexey Korneev and three newcomers : Frank Bird, Alex Peroni and Najiy Ayyad Bin Abd Razak. The latter two had previous Formula Renault experience from their time in V de V and Asian Formula Renault.
A season of ups and downs
While there were plenty of challenges, Fortec Motorsports got off to a strong start to the season with Alex Peroni. The Australian driver brought the Richard Dutton run squad its first win since Ben Barnicoat at Jerez in 2015.
“The season started strongly”, esteems Fortec Motorsports Team Manager Martin Young. “The team was hoping to win races this year and to achieve top six results. Over the first first events this was achieved with Alex, who won in Pau and went as high as 4th in the general classification.”
“On the other hand, the second half of the season was difficult due to the experience of drivers and crashes in the races. This is a good example of our season, with a high at Pau with Alex’s victory before too many mid-season crashes."
Higher goals and progress
Despite a dry patch for Alex Peroni, who didn’t score points between Monaco in May and the final two races at Barcelona in late October, the team could rely on Alexey Korneev and Najiy Ayyad Bin Abd Razak to add to its tally. While the British outfit fell sort of the top five in the Teams title for the first time since coming to the Eurocup full time, Martin Young isn’t worried and preferes to to value the positive and human elements.
“I feel we always set high goals for our drivers", says Martin. “All of them at one point or another had good results at times : Alex’s victory, but also Najiy scoring points at the Hungaroring for example. Frank’s improvement over the year was also something I enjoyed. Of our four drivers, three had very little experience in a high standard championship so it was always going to be difficult to exceed over the target."
Strong ties for the future
Martin Young’s men, however, will remember good moments from this campaign where they entered four drivers representing four nationalities and three different continents. Yet again, proof that motor racing is a universal language…
“I feel all the driver in the team got along very well”, he confides. “Despite their origins, they all speak English and I guess some of them may be very good friends for a long time ! Alex may have struggle the most from missing home as Australia is long way from Europe. It is understandable considering the huge time difference between Australia and Europe, but he provided us with a great memory with his win at Pau !”
Busy with his winter preparation, Martin Young is already turning his attention to the 2018 season when the goal will surely be to do better !
“I hope that the Formula Renault Eurocup would be as strong as this year in 2018”, he concludes. “In any case, we are planning to do all the Formula Renault championship and hoping to achieve high results like in the past. We already announced Jordan Cane, a Briton who has already distinguished himself in the United States and in the BRDC F3 !”