Le Mans: Round six preview

Five French drivers to watch In five races, five different drivers have had a taste of victory in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5. The leader since the opening weekend of the Championship, the Polish driver Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi)...

Five French drivers to watch

In five races, five different drivers have had a taste of victory in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5. The leader since the opening weekend of the Championship, the Polish driver Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi) is mixing it with rivals of increasing maturity. In Le Mans, it will be worth keeping a close eye on the French drivers. Simon Pagenaud, Damien Pasini, Patrick Pilet and Eric Salignon will be dreaming of emulating Tristan Gommendy, the recent winner in Valencia!

After a month's break, the fifteen teams are going to have plenty to keep them busy over the coming weeks. After Le Mans this weekend, they will head south to Bilbao for the fifth round of the World Series by Renault on July 16 and 17!

For the time being though, everyone is focussing on Le Mans, especially the French drivers who are determined to show off their talent on home soil. Third in the overall standings, Tristan Gommendy (KTR) is the only one of these drivers with a win to his name. The Parisian driver, who has always been very quick, finally tasted success in Valencia. And that should be a serious morale booster!

One of the drivers to line up alongside Tristan on the podium in Spain was Eric Salignon (Cram Competition), who finished the race in thundering style. The Carpentras-based driver also proved that he has the potential to win, even if his current place in the overall standings does not reflect that after failing to score in four of the five races. All the more reason to make a return to form in Le Mans! In contrast, Damien Pasini, the other Cram Competition driver, is more and more consistent, getting ever closer to a podium finish.

The two recruits from Formula Renault 2.0, Simon Pagenaud (DHG Saulnier Racing) and Patrick Pilet (Jenzer Motorsport) have less experience to call on than their fellow countrymen. But they are determined and consistent, with each of them finishing in the points in four races. On a circuit which they know like the back of their hand, they will not be afraid to go for a podium spot!

And it is not only French drivers who will be on home ground: the Dams team, which is based only a few kilometres away from the Bugatti circuit, will use its expert knowledge of the track to the advantage of both Alx Danielsson and Raffaele Giammaria!

But for now, the World Series by Renault is still controlled by Robert Kubica and Epsilon Euskadi, who have also helped Felix Porteiro to victory. The drivers from the Basque team will, as ever, be able to count on the expertise of their Technical Director, Michel Lecomte, another well-known figure returning to home soil!

First on the list of other drivers in with a chance of a win is Adrian Valles (Pons Racing). Second in the overall standings between Kubica and Gommendy, the Spaniard is the only driver to have finished in the points five times! Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport), who came so close to success in Valencia, could also be in with a shout.

The winners in Zolder and Monaco, Enrique Toccacelo (Victory Engineering) and Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA) were off the pace in Spain. They will have to find their way back onto the podium if they want to stay with the leaders!

At the same time, Will Power (Carlin Motorsport), Colin Flemming (Jenzer Motorsport) and Giorgio Mondini (Eurointernational) seemed to have found their feet. Which should add a little spice to proceedings!

There has also been a change at Interwetten.com: the Brazilian Fernando Rees replaces Stefano Proetto alongside Daniel La Rosa.

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Eric Salignon , Christian Montanari , Raffaele Giammaria , Tristan Gommendy , Robert Kubica , Will Power , Felix Porteiro , Giorgio Mondini , Andreas Zuber , Patrick Pilet , Simon Pagenaud
Teams Carlin , Jenzer Motorsport