EU 2.0: Istanbul preview

Eurocup in search of a leader Winner of both races in Zolder, Laurent Groppi is not due to return to the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 until the Nürburgring meeting. The Eurocup regulars, who have recently been able to hone their skills in ...

Eurocup in search of a leader

Winner of both races in Zolder, Laurent Groppi is not due to return to the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 until the Nürburgring meeting. The Eurocup regulars, who have recently been able to hone their skills in the various national FR2.0 championships, now head for Istanbul, where they will fight it out to see takes over as championship leaderâ^À¦

The Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 drivers have been far from inactive since Zolder. Many have returned to the French, Italian and North European FR2.0 championships, as drivers and teams "double up" in order to acquire as much experience as possible.

A quick look at the results in these three championships therefore gives us a good idea of the leading contenders after a six-week break from the Eurocup. Laurent Groppi, who will only take part in two further meetings (Nürburgring and Le Mans), currently leads the French championship, in which Bertrand Baguette (Epsilon Euskadi), Carlo Van Dam and Tom Dillmann (SG Formula) are also acquitting themselves very well. Although these three drivers have yet to win a race, they are all constantly improving, particularly Van Dam, who brought a bad run to an end run by making it onto the podium last week in Pau!

South Africa's Adrian Zaugg is the man dominating affairs in Italy. With five wins from eight races, the Cram Compétition driver is ahead of Dani Clos (Jenzer Motorsport), who was in great form during the collective testing in Barcelona. Edoardo Piscopo (Cram Compétition), Edoardo Mortara (Prema Powerteam) and Junior Strous (Jenzer Motorsport) are equally well placed in the championship.

Created as a result of the merger of the German and Dutch championships, the North European Championship (NEC) has also been dominated by drivers from the Eurocup. With four wins from eight races, Chris Van der Drift (JD Motorsport) casts a shadow over his rivals. The New Zealander leads from Filipe Albuquerque (Motopark Academy), Xavier Maasen (JD Motorsport) and Atte Mustonen (Koiranen Bros).

All of the drivers met up in Barcelona on May 23-24 for two days of collective testing. Despite struggling in the NEC, Danish driver Kasper Andersen (JD Motorsport) dominated proceedings by clocking the best time on both days. His team-mate Chris Van der Drift, Dani Clos and Carlo Van Dam also put in good performances.

With the drivers so evenly matched, it is difficult to define any real pecking order. All that can be said is that in terms of points, Baguette, Mustonen, Van der Drift and Maasen are the best placed to take over from Groppi at the top of the Eurocup standings.

Among the new recruits, the performance of Cem Kent will certainly not go unnoticed. The young Turkish driver will race for Team Jenzer. At SL Formula Racing, Frédéric Vervisch is joined by the Russian Anton Nebiltsky. That means that the thirty-six drivers taking part will represent a total of twenty nationalities, which is a new record!

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Junior Strous , Xavier Maassen , Bertrand Baguette , Adrian Zaugg , Tom Dillmann , Filipe Albuquerque , Laurent Groppi , Atte Mustonen , Carlo Va , Dani Clos
Teams Jenzer Motorsport , Formula Racing