The favourites start to shine through After Zolder and Istanbul, Atte Mustonen (Koiranen Bros), Dani Clos (Jenzer Motorsport) and Carlo Van Dam (SG Formula) all seem to be a cut above the rest. But there is still plenty of the season to go and a...
The favourites start to shine through
After Zolder and Istanbul, Atte Mustonen (Koiranen Bros), Dani Clos (Jenzer Motorsport) and Carlo Van Dam (SG Formula) all seem to be a cut above the rest. But there is still plenty of the season to go and a good half-dozen or so young talents capable of upsetting the applecart at Misano and beyond!
With only four of the fourteen races of the 2006 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season gone as Misano approaches, things are far from being decided going into the Italian round of the Championship with the leader on only 36 points and 170 points still up for grabs!
The Finn Atte Mustonen, the only driver to have made it into the points in all four races so far moved to the top of the overall standings as the sun set on the event in Istanbul. Having finished in fourth, fifth, third and second place, he now only needs a victory to complete the pattern. Victory is proving just as elusive for Atte in the North European Championship, but currently lying fourth in the overall standings, the Koiranen brothers' protege has at least proved he is a consistent points-finisher!
In second overall, three points off the leader, Dani Clos can be proud of his two clear victories in Turkey. Thrown into the spotlight since he joined Jenzer Motorsport, the Catalonian driver is turning out to be one of the favourites to succeed Kamui Kobayashi as Champion. He is in a similar situation in the Italian Championship, where he has crossed swords with Adrian Zaugg (Cram Competition), who has been very short of success in the Eurocup. The next round of the NEC will be held this weekend in Hockenheim.
Like Mustonen, Carlo Van Dam (SG Formula) is also looking for his first victory in Eurocup. If the Dutchman can find the secret to winning ways, it could just give him the confidence he needs to become a real challenger for the title. Carlo may well look to take a lead from the improving performances of Tom Dillmann, who should soon have fully recovered from his foot injury.
After winning a race each in the North European Championship at Oschersleben last week, Chris Van Der Drift (JD Motorsport) and Filipe Albuquerque (Motopark Academy) will want a repeat performance in Misano if they are to close up on the leaders in the overall standings. But they'd do well to keep a watchful eye on their teammates! Kasper Andersen and Xavier Maasen (JD) also look like they have the potential to win. At Motopark, Sebastien Buemi will continue to race on two fronts, running in both the F3 Euro Series and Formula Renault 2.0.
After a flamboyant performance in Zolder and a more subdued weekend in Istanbul, Bertrand Baguette (Epsilon Euskadi) will undoubtedly be keen to make it back into the limelight. As the best placed Italian driver in the Eurocup, Edoardo Piscopo will be another one to watch. On the back of two good results in Turkey, the Cram Competition driver could use his home race as an opportunity to make a breakthrough. Other Eurocup regulars such as Frederico Muggia (BVM Minardi Team), Edoardo Mortara (Prema Powerteam) and Marc Frezza (Team Jenzer) will also be trying to make the most of their local knowledge.
Six more Italian drivers have also earned themselves wild cards to line up on the grid in Misano. They are Daniele Zampieri (BVM), Alberto Costa (Euronova), Matteo Chinosi (RP Motorsport), Riccardo Cinti, Nicki and Valentino Sebastiani (IT Loox). Keep an eye out for Sebastiani, the last man on the list, as he already taken a win at Vallelunga in the Italian Championship!
Junior Strous (Jenzer Motorsport), however, will not be present due to budgetary problems.