The final battle for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series 2013 crown will be decided in Barcelona.
The final round of the 2013 World Series by Renault season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will see champions crowned in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Eurocup Megane Trophy. The penultimate round of the Eurocup Clio is also on the card in Catalonia, with the year’s final races still to come at Motorland Aragon, two weeks later.
Now in its eighth consecutive year on the World Series by Renault programme, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is gearing up to host the final round of the season for the seventh time. The venue for Formula One’s Spanish Grand Prix every year since 1991, Montmelo is a fast, technical and undulating track. The unique challenge it offers sorts the men out from the boys and explains the popularity it enjoys among drivers and teams in all categories.
Last year’s unprecedented finale, in which all four championships were decided on the very last weekend, pulled in nearly 60,000 spectators. The prospects for the 2013 meeting are every bit as promising, with title duels guaranteed in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and Eurocup Megane Trophy, and even more twists and turns in store in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Eurocup Clio.
As part of an action-packed programme race-goers will also be entertained by the Renault Classic Show, the Renault Sport Show and a vintage rally. No less of an attraction, the Renault Village will welcome visitors to the Renault range exhibition and test centre, all this on a weekend when the calendar for World Series by Renault’s tenth season will also be unveiled.
Both Formula Renault 3.5 Series races will be broadcast live on Eurosport International and Eurosport France (Saturday) and on Eurosport 2 International and Eurosport 2 France (Sunday), while the whole meeting will be shown online on the Eurosport Player.
Formula Renault 3.5 Series: Glory beckons for Magnussen and DAMS
The title duel pits two McLaren Young Driver Development Programme members against each other, with Kevin Magnussen (DAMS), the son of ex-F1 driver Jan in one corner, and Stoffel Vandoorne (Fortec Motorsports), the year’s leading rookie and the 2012 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion, in the other.
A winner in race two in France, Kevin Magnussen is in a very commanding position. Holding a 43- point lead over his championship rival, the Dane is firmly in control of his own destiny at the end of a season in which he has chalked up 11 top-three finishes in 15 races.
To have any chance of success Stoffel Vandoorne needs to have the perfect meeting and hope that Magnussen fails to finish both races. Though he still has a shot at the title, the Belgian is by no means assured of the runners-up slot, with Portugal’s Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) breathing down his neck. A winner in Hungary and France, the Red Bull Junior Team driver also scored a notable double in Barcelona last year.
The battles for the minor placings also promise to be intense. Still to win this season, fourth-placed Nigel Melker (Tech 1 Racing) holds the slenderest of advantages over Nico Muller (International Draco Racing), while Will Stevens (P1 by Strakka Racing) has slipped slightly off the pace after his retirement in race two at the Circuit Paul Ricard. After getting his first taste of life in F1 the day after the French event, Marco Sorensen (Lotus) also has designs on breaking into the top five.
Having returned to contest the final three rounds of the season, Spain’s Carlos Sainz (Zeta Corse) will be attracting plenty of attention, as will local teams Pons Racing and AV Formula.
The battle to succeed Tech 1 Racing as team champions is also still on, with DAMS well placed to hold off Fortec Motorsports and take the title.
Race 1: Saturday 19 October, 14:00
Race 2: Sunday 20 October, 13:15