Monaco: Series preview

KMP Group/SG Formula join the fray in Monaco An exceptional track, a VIP atmosphere and plenty of on-track action, the Monaco round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series -- a support race to the Formula 1 Grand Prix -- is quite simply unmissable.

KMP Group/SG Formula join the fray in Monaco

An exceptional track, a VIP atmosphere and plenty of on-track action, the Monaco round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series -- a support race to the Formula 1 Grand Prix -- is quite simply unmissable. Winning at Monaco is still an ideal way to make a name for yourself, as Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing), last season's winner in the Principality, can testify. KMP Group/SG Formula is set to join the Formula Renault 3.5 Series at the Monaco meeting, taking the number of teams entered this year to thirteen.

SG Formula, one of the mainstays of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, has decided to move up a gear by entering Formula Renault 3.5 Series, running under the name KMP Group/SG Formula. Following KTR's withdrawal from the championship and the transfer of its cars to the La Rochelle-based team, the World Series by Renault Organizing Committee confirmed the participation of KMP Group/SG Formula starting at the Monaco meeting.

Jules Bianchi rejoins the team with which he won the French Formula Renault 2.0 championship in 2007. The Frenchman will be making his debut in a Formula Renault 3.5. The aim for Stephane Guerin's drivers will therefore be to learn the ropes, in preparation for 2010. With three wins in the first four races, Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) has made a flying start to the season and comes to Monaco as clear leader. Behind him, the field is taking shape as the favourites are back among the front-runners.

Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) returned to form on his home track at Spa-Francorchamps, finishing as runner-up in both races. The only driver to have toppled Marcos Martinez in winning the race two at Spa, James Walker (P1 Motorsport) is also back among the leaders, as is Miguel Molina (Ultimate Motorsport). These guys will need to balance the desire to win with the risk of losing everything by crashing into the barriers. Further down the overall standings, Charles Pic will be hoping the Monaco round will see him return to winning ways. Pole sitter and race winner in the Principality last season, the Renault Driver Development driver will be able to call upon the experience of his team, Tech 1 Racing, of the Monaco track, at which it is unbeaten in the last two years.

Charles Pic's performance last year proved that it is not impossible for a driver to win at Monaco on their debut. Rookies Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing), Greg Mansell (Ultimate Motorsport), Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport), Jaime Alguersuari (Carlin Motorsport), Sten Pentus (Mofaz Fortec Motorsport), Chris Van der Drift (Epsilon Euskadi), Mihai Marinescu (Interwetten.com Racing), Julien Leal (Prema Powerteam) and Federico Leo (Pons Racing) will of course be hoping to emulate his achievement. Brendon Hartley, Jaime Alguersuari and Oliver Turvey start with the advantage of having already done well in F3 during a street race in Bucharest and Macau.

But they'll need to get to grips with the specific features of the Monaco track, the world's most famous street circuit, in a Formula Renault 3.5. Just like Jules Bianchi, Max Chilton (Comtec Racing) will be making his debut in Formula Renault 3.5 Series at Monaco. Although he has taken part in some test sessions with Comtec Racing, the British driver will have to keep clear of the barriers in order to build up as much experience as possible. A one-off event means a one-off race format. A single 45-minute session of collective testing is scheduled. The drivers will be split into two qualifying groups. The fastest driver from the two groups will start in pole position for the weekend's single race, in which there will be no mandatory pit stop.

-credit: wsr

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers James Walker , Marcos Martinez , Bertrand Baguette , Greg Mansell , Brendon Hartley , Oliver Turvey , Max Chilton , Miguel Molina , Mihai Marinescu , Charles Pic , Jaime Alguersuari , Jules Bianchi , Federico Leo
Teams Carlin