The legendary Spa-Francorchamps has, over the years, become a must stop on the calendar. For meeting nine of the season, the battles will be more intense than ever on the most challenging track of the year just as the battle for the title could be decided. It’s going to be a spectacular show on a circuit where slip streaming is an important factor in Formula Renault !
A decisive weekend ?
R-ace GP will aim for its first title at Spa-Francorchamps ! The French team will be able to count on its regular four drivers to definitively pull away from rivals Josef Kaufmann Racing and Tech 1 Racing.
The stakes will be double for Will Palmer (R-ace GP), Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) and Max Defourny (R-ace GP), because all three will want to get the better of Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing).
In the aftermath of his impressive one-off in the FIA F3 European Championship and two victories in the Formula Renault NEC at the Nürburgring, the Frenchman is the only driver who could clinch the title in Belgium. Will Palmer will try to continue his rise in form. After his dreadful weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard, Robert Shwartzman will need to bounce back, which he began doing at the collective tests last Tuesday. Also a F3 rookie for a weekend at the Nürburgring, Max Defourny will be out to star in front of his fellow Belgians on the circuit where he took his first victory in Formula Renault.
Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) will try to stay in title contention by putting some daylight between himself and the top rookies in the general classification : Renault Sport Academy driver Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing) and Red Bull Junior Team protégé Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport).
Among these final seven title contenders, Max Fewtrell will be the only one racing at Spa for the first time. His British rival made his debut in Formula Renault two years ago.
Following two podium results this summer, Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) now aims to take his first success to pull away from Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports) and Red Bull Junior Team members Richard Verschoor (MP Motorsport) and Neil Verhagen (MP Motorsport)
Nevertheless, they will have to contend against drivers with past experience at Spa such as Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Alexey Korneev (Fortec Motorsports) and Thomas Randle (AVF by Adrián Vallés), who won last year in the BRDC F3. Back then Thomas Maxwell (Tech 1 Racing) was already one of his rivals !
Local driver Ghislain Cordeel (Arden Motorsport), Thomas Neubauer (Tech 1 Racing) and Julia Pankiewicz (Mark Burdett Motorsport) will need to use their experience to score their first points of the 2017.
Nothing more to lose…or nearly !
Alexander Vartanyan (JD Motorsport), Raúl Guzmán (R-ace GP), Luis Leeds (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Jarno Opmeer (MP Motorsport), Zane Goddard (Arden Motorsport), Presley Martono (Mark Burdett Motorsport) and Najiy Ayyad bin Abd Razak (Fortec Motorsports) are all ready for their first races at Spa and will try to add to their point tallies as the season nears its end.
Separately, Axel Matus (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (JD Motorsport), Sun Yue Yang (JD Motorsport), Frank Bird (Fortec Motorsports) and Xavier Lloveras (AVF by Adrián Vallés) will look to quickly figure out the daunting circuit to finally finish in the top ten.
The Formula Renault NEC drivers will also be in action, but not eligible to score points and ’invisible’. Among them are Belgium’s Gilles Magnus (R-ace GP) who will be joined by Charles Milesi (R-ace GP), Théo Coicaud (R-ace GP), Michael Benyahia (R-ace GP) and Bartłomiej Mirecki (BM Racing Team).
Friday September 22, 2017
9:00–9:50 Collective tests
13:00–13:20 Qualifying 1 (Group A)
13:25–13:45 Qualifying 1 (Group B)
17:05–17:20 Qualifying 2 (Group B)
17:25–17:40 Qualifying 2 (Group A)
Saturday September 23, 2017
9:10–9:40 Race 1
15:00–15:30 Race 2
Sunday September 24, 2017
10h30 – 11h00 Race 3