EU 2.0: Nurburgring: Series preview

Three into one won't go! Mathematically, there are still seven drivers who could claim the 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title, even though there are only four races left this season. Nevertheless, Motopark Academy's Antonio Felix da Costa,...

Three into one won't go!

Mathematically, there are still seven drivers who could claim the 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title, even though there are only four races left this season. Nevertheless, Motopark Academy's Antonio Felix da Costa, SG Formula's Jean-Eric Vergne and Epsilon Euskadi's Albert Costa have broken away from the competition. The title will surely go to one of these three drivers, separated by just fourteen points.

A few days ago, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 competitors took to the track once more for two days of collective testing at the brand-new Motorland Aragon circuit. A great way to prepare for the last round of the season, but also a unique chance to get their bearings on a circuit which will play host to the final showdown between da Costa, Vergne and Costa. As if to illustrate his intentions and to justify his position as championship leader, the Portuguese Motopark Academy driver turned in the best performance.

Reliable is certainly the best way to describe Antonio Felix da Costa's performance so far this season. With ten races already run, the Portuguese driver has finished in the points on nine occasions, seven of which were on the podium. The only stains on his record? A single win and still no pole position this year. At least da Costa should feel at home at the Nurburgring, racing on Motopark Academy's home turf. Timo Rumpfkeil's team has often given a good account of itself in his home country, and the German team can count on the ability of its other drivers, Marco Sorensen, Kuba Giermaziak, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Kevin Magnussen. The Motopark Academy line up should prove a valuable asset for da Costa in his quest for the title.

Despite all this, the man to beat in the last few races has been Jean-Eric Vergne who has continued to grow stronger with each passing meeting. Inspired by his first win in Budapest, he has continued to rack up the points, with four pole positions, three wins and one third place at Silverstone and Le Mans. Separated from da Costa by just seven points, the title is now, more than ever, his ultimate goal. A strong competitor on this roller-coaster of a track last season, the SG Formula team's lead driver will do everything he can to seize control of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 before the grande-finale at Motorland Aragon.

In third place, seven points behind Vergne and fourteen points behind da Costa, Albert Costa needs to dig deep if he is to make up sufficient ground on his rivals. Of the three favourites for the title, it is Albert Costa who has failed to finish in the points most often with three retirements and one exclusion. That said, when the Spaniard does finish a race, it's likely to be on the top step of the podium. With three wins and three second places, Costa hasn't won another race since the second meeting of the season at Spa-Francorchamps. It's high time he reversed the trend!

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of other drivers queuing up for a shot at the title. Epsilon Euskadi's Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Nathanael Berthon have already made a name for themselves and will be keen to taste victory once more. Another regular on the podium, SG Formula's Miki Monras wants nothing more than to win a race before the end of the season, as does Krenek Motorpsort's Kevin Magnussen and Adam Kout, along with Jenzer Motorsport's Nico Muller. Finally, SG Formula's Arthur Pic and Epsilon Euskadi's Carlos Munoz are making rapid progress and could turn out to be the stars at Nurburgring.

-credit: wsr

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Albert Costa , Adrian Quaife-Hobbs , Nathanael Berthon , Adam Kout , Carlos Munoz , Miki Monras , Marco Sorensen , Antonio Felix da Costa , Jean-Eric Vergne , Nico Müller , Kevin Magnussen , Arthur Pic , Jakub Giermaziak