Portimao: Series preview

No-one makes a better Baguette! After dropping back to third in the overall standings at the meeting in Silverstone, Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) bucked the trend in Le Mans by winning both races. The Belgian driver now comes...

No-one makes a better Baguette!

After dropping back to third in the overall standings at the meeting in Silverstone, Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing) bucked the trend in Le Mans by winning both races. The Belgian driver now comes to a circuit which is new to all the drivers, at Portimao in the Algarve, as leader of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, with a lead of nineteen points over Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing).

But it's not holiday time for the drivers! Just two weeks after the French round of the World Series by Renault, the drivers and teams of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series head for Portimao as part of the 1000 kilometres of the Algarve, the third round of the "Le Mans Series" season. For this special meeting, there will be no SuperPole and the two races will be held on the Saturday. For the first time this season, Bertrand Baguette will be coming to a circuit in the guise of leader. After adding two wins to his laurels in Le Mans, the Belgian driver is sure to be looking to maintain his momentum into the final home straight of the season. But Marcos Martinez and James Walker (P1 Motorsport) are just as certain to do everything in their power to hit back at the International Draco Racing driver. After being forced to live off nothing but bread and water in Le Mans, the Madrid and Jersey-based drivers quite frankly don't have much choice. They simply have to take their opportunity to put things right in the Algarve. Back in fourth in the overall standings and currently leading the Rookie category, there seems to be no end to the impressive run of form shown by Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport), who already has one pole position and four podium spots to his name in only his first year in the discipline. The 22-year old British driver will be very keen to seize what looks like an ideal opportunity at a circuit where everyone starts on equal terms. Another victory certainly would not be unwelcome. As even Turvey would now probably be prepared to admit, the Championship has to have become one of his season's main objectives. In Portimao, Oliver Turvey will now have an F1 driver as a teammate. Jaime Alguersuari (Carlin Motorsport) has followed in the footsteps of Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel to make the move up into Formula 1 by joining Scuderia Toro Rosso. But that doesn't mean that the Spaniard will be abandoning the Formula Renault 3.5 Series: Fresh back from his very first Formula 1 Grand Prix, Jaime Alguersuari will be on hand in the Algarve to gain yet more valuable experience. At just 19 years of age, the youngest ever driver in the history of F1 will be looking for his first win in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, after having made it onto the podium for the first time this season in Le Mans. The opportunity to race at a new circuit for the first time also looks set to inspire some other new drivers. Daniel Ricciardo (Tech 1 Racing) will be racing in the series for the first time in Portimao. Runner-up in Eurocup Formula Renault in 2008 and winner of the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup, the Australian will be able to call upon the experience of Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) to help him settle in behind the wheel of the Formula Renault 3.5. Ricciardo, who is currently leading the British Formula 3 Championship -- won last year by none other than Jaime Alguersuari ahead of Oliver Turvey -- is looking resolutely to the future. For him, the pressure will be off, with his objective simply to gain some experience this weekend. Finally, after already taking part in the action in Budapest and Silverstone, Michael Herck (Interwetten.com Racing) is back once again, as is Dani Clos, who will rejoining ranks with Epsilon Euskadi to line up alongside Chris Van der Drift.

-credit: wsr

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Robert Kubica , James Walker , Marcos Martinez , Sebastian Vettel , Michael Herck , Bertrand Baguette , Daniel Ricciardo , Oliver Turvey , Dani Clos , Charles Pic , Jaime Alguersuari
Teams Toro Rosso , Carlin