Istanbul: Round three preview

Who will find their Turkish delight? The World Series Formula Renault 3.5 championship is set to stray beyond the borders of Western Europe for the first time, as it heads for the Istanbul Park circuit for the third meeting of 2006! Local driver...

Who will find their Turkish delight?

The World Series Formula Renault 3.5 championship is set to stray beyond the borders of Western Europe for the first time, as it heads for the Istanbul Park circuit for the third meeting of 2006! Local driver Jason Tahinci (Eurointernational) will join the field for the Turkish round of the championship. After dominating in Zolder, Eric Salignon (Interwetten.com) was caught in Monaco by Pastor Maldonado (Draco Multiracing USA). But it will not only be the championship joint-leaders who will be fighting it out for victory...

Eighth, third and then first! Pastor Maldonado's progress since the start of the championship can, at the very least, be described as consistent. As the only driver to have picked up points in all three races run to date, the Venezuelan can only hope to keep up the good work in Turkey. But his win in Monaco means that he goes into the Turkish round brimming with confidence.

The two drivers who were most successful in Zolder floundered in the Principality. Borja Garcia (RC Motorsport) did not even manage to start the race after suffering mechanical problems in qualifying, while Eric Salignon drew a blank after being forced to start from the back row of the grid. Both men will need to get back into the top-three to avoid losing throwing away their early-season advantage. Garcia is one of the few drivers who will be familiar with the track. He raced here last year and finished on the podium in GP2 Series. He will be looking to make full use of this advantage in attempting to record his first race win.

After a particularly convincing performance in Monaco, James Rossiter (Pons Racing) now lies fourth in the overall standings. The fiery British driver is always there or thereabouts and features on a list of potential winners that also includes Christian Montanari (Prema Power Team), Colin Fleming (Carlin Motorsport) and Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing).

With three races gone, several drivers have yet to turn their potential -- seen either in testing or the races -- into results. The most notable drivers in this category are Andy Soucek (Interwetten.com), Patrick Pilet (GD Racing), Enrico Toccacelo (Eurointernational), Ben Hanley (Cram Comp0x00e9tition), Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport), Alvaro Parente (Victory Engineering), Robbie Kerr (KTR) and Ryo Fukuda (Tech 1 Racing). These drivers desperately need to start picking up points if they are to get back on track in the race for the title!

After returning to World Series in Monaco, Jaap Van Lagen (Comtec Racing) will also be determined to be up there with the leaders despite a lack of track time in the off-season. Belgian driver Gr0x00e9gory Franchi (Prema Power Team), undoubtedly boosted by his Monaco podium finish, will be another one to watch.

In terms of crowd support, all the other drivers will find it hard to match Jason Tahinci. After taking part in the Formula Renault UK championship in 2005, this year the Turkish driver is racing in GP2 Series. Alongside Enrico Toccacelo at the Eurointernational team, Jason is in a perfect position to record a great result in front of his home fans!

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Ryo Fukuda , Robbie Kerr , Eric Salignon , Christian Montanari , James Rossiter , Jason Tahinci , Pastor Maldonado , Borja Garcia , Patrick Pilet , Mikhail Aleshin , Andy Soucek
Teams Carlin