EU 2.0: Series Le Mans preview

The gang of four Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula), Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula), Valtteri Bottas (Motorpark Academy) and Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi) have clearly marked themselves out from the competition. The Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 will...

The gang of four

Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula), Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula), Valtteri Bottas (Motorpark Academy) and Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi) have clearly marked themselves out from the competition. The Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 will be played out between these four promising young drivers. Winners at the Nurburgring meeting last weekend, Merhi and Bottas are hoping that the end of the season will a favourable one.

Sometimes, it only takes the smallest detail to turn things around. This is what Roberto Merhi and Valtteri Bottas should be reminding themselves of. For Merhi, the German meeting came as something of a relief. The seventeen-year old drove to his first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 victory. Having come close on several occasions, Merhi lacked success until now. As a result, winning a race had clearly become his goal for the end of the season. The job was taken care of last weekend, especially when his success was compounded by a second place the following day. The Spaniard is still in with a chance of the title!

Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas had to make a fresh start at the Nurburgring after a barren weekend in Hungary. Second on Saturday and first on Sunday, the Finn did everything in his power to rejoin the fight for the title. Bottas looked unstoppable last Sunday when he carried off three wins in the same day: one in Formula Renault 2.0 and two in Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup.

While all this was happening, the SG Formula drivers were looking very ordinary. Finishing third and fifth, Daniel Ricciardo had his least successful weekend this season. Andrea Caldarelli also broke his run of four consecutive podium finishes by finishing fifth in the first race. Caldarelli remains the only one of the 'gang of four' not to have won a race.

But SG Formula are once again the team to fear the most at Le Mans, as they are on home turf, not far from their headquarters. Stephane Guerin and his team will be busy this weekend, as they will also be competing in the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup. A category in which Daniel Ricciardo, Andrea Caldarelli and Roberto Merhi are all preparing to do battle for the title...

With 42 cars on the track, the list of potential winners is still long. Tobias Hegewald (Motopark Academy), Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) or even Cesar Ramos (BVM Minardi Team) are all in the mix.

However, the smart money will be on the French contingent at Le Mans. Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula) is just one of a number of drivers who learned their craft at the Le Mans Auto Sport Academy. Quick in qualifying, the 2007 Formula Campus champion has yet to convert his performance into points. A podium finish is well within his reach on a track which he knows like the back of his hand.

At Epsilon Sport, Mathieu Arzeno makes his return alongside Bastien Borget and Stephane Richelmi. Absent since Hungary, Arzeno has what it takes to shake up the established order on a track which holds no secrets for him.

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Tobias Hegewald , Daniel Ricciardo , Albert Costa , Roberto Merhi , Mathieu Arzeno , Andrea Caldarelli , Stéphane Richelmi , Cesar Ramos , Valtteri Bottas , Jean-Eric Vergne