International opportunities for young talents in single-seater racing

First created in 1971, the French Formula Renault Championship will be undergoing a major overhaul in 2008. By taking the show beyond the borders of France, the Championship will be looking to meet the demand from young drivers to test their skills on the international stage at the earliest possible opportunity. With meetings to be held in France, Spain, Portugal and Belgium, the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup will offer new opportunities to up-and-coming talents in motorsport. Formula Renault 2.0 WEC will be organized by Signature. Patrick Sinault, the promoter of the category, provides an outline of what this new Championship will look like.

Why is the West European Cup being created?

"Over recent years, we have observed that drivers' careers in single-seater racing are getting shorter and shorter. Drivers are starting out in single-seaters at an increasingly early age now around 16 years old and want to test their skills at an international level as soon as possible. Though we were totally happy with the number of entries for the French Championship in 2007, we felt it was necessary mark a new beginning to keep the competition at the level expected by both the teams and drivers. The West European Cup is designed to complement both the North European Cup, as well as the Italian and British Championships. It will enable Formula Renault 2.0 to gain a firm foothold on the Iberian peninsula."

How are you going to go about organizing this Championship?

"Having already operated the Super Serie FFSA on behalf of Renault Sport from 2003 to 2006, Signature was then appointed to act as promoter for the French Formula Renault 2.0 Championship and the French Clio Cup in 2007. We can provide both the stability and the experience necessary to organize this type of championship. To ensure that we can offer the best possible service to the Spanish and Portuguese teams and drivers, we will also call on the expertise of RPM Racing. The Formula Renault 2.0 WEC will be organized according to the same quality standards as the World Series by Renault. We will continue to use the same methods that have made Formula Renault 2.0 such a success: namely, a limited number of test sessions and tyres, a single engine supplier, a technical support and spare parts service at meetings, plus promotional and communications services and more."

What is the race calendar going to look like for 2008?

"It will consist of fourteen days of collective testing and eight meetings which will not conflict with the dates for the World Series by Renault. All the events will be held on FIA-approved circuits. The Championship will run in four countries: France (Nogaro, Dijon, Le Mans and/or Magny-Cours), Spain (Valencia, Barcelona), Portugal (Estoril) and Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps). We are waiting for the definitive dates for the Super Serie FFSA and the World Series by Renault before releasing the dates for our calendar."

What titles will be up for grabs?

"In addition to the usual Drivers and Teams standings, we will also be continuing with the Challenger Cup, only open to 2004 versions of single-seaters. This category was a huge success in 2007. The winner, Sylvain Milesi, came away with a 2007 bodywork kit meaning he can enter the WEC at half- price."

What will be the format for meetings?

"We will retain the current setup used for French Championship meetings, with one hour of free practice on the Friday, then a qualifying session and a 25-minute race on both Saturdays and Sundays." What do you expect the line-up to be?

"We are taking entries until January, 312008. Obviously, we will be looking first and foremost for entries from those taking part in the French Championship. However, Spanish, Belgian and British teams as well as some young driver programmes have already expressed an interest."

-credit: wec/