EU 2000: Paul Ricard test 2006-04-20

Here come the kids! The 2006 Eurocup Renault Formula 2.0 Championship line-up features a total of thirty-three drivers, of whom XX are under 18 years old. A new young generation that will fight hard alongside their teams to stand out and begin...

Here come the kids!

The 2006 Eurocup Renault Formula 2.0 Championship line-up features a total of thirty-three drivers, of whom XX are under 18 years old. A new young generation that will fight hard alongside their teams to stand out and begin their future ascent into to the world of F1, following the footsteps of World Series champion Robert Kubica or Heikki Kovalainen. Today, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Teams had their final pre-season outing at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit.

Indeed, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship is a major part of the so-called "Renault Motorsport Pyramid", with four of the World's five continents represented in the official entry list: America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, and a total of 17 different countries!

The Formula Renault race cars stepped out on Tuesday onto the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit for the final outing before the racing season starts in Zolder (Belgium). The Teams will have just a few days to return to their home bases and make final preparations for Belgium, so it was very important to go through their checklists and head for Zolder having already done their homework.

Ate Mustonen (Koiranen Bros) was in command at the end of the first day, lapping in 1'33"554 using the Solution 2D version of this track (4,150m). We had to look down fifteen positions to complete the list of drivers who were within a second of the leader (Brendon Hartley, Team Motorpark in 1'34"565). The Provence circuit was bathed in sunshine throughout the day, with very mild temperatures, and the drivers showed good progress in improving their lap times in the afternoon. Rahel Frey (Jenzer Motorsport) put in a great performance to finish in the top three. Former Carlin Motorsport UK driver Martin Plowman, making his debut in the Eurocup with top outfit Prema Power Team, gained ground in the afternoon and moved up to seventh!

The Teams were also making the most out of their time at this modern circuit, since most of them are involved in their national championships. Carlo Van Dam (SG Formula) arrived on Tuesday night and yesterday he was the one to watch at the French venue, improving on the best timed lap set in the morning (Strous, 1'33"152) by 0.1 seconds, to dip below 1'32. Tom Dillman, his young Eurocup team-mate, was the second best driver today, followed by Baguette and Alguersuari. Very close gaps again between the drivers, with Plowman wrapping up the top five!

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Heikki Kovalainen , Robert Kubica , Brendon Hartley , Martin Plowman , Carlo Va , Rahel Frey
Teams Carlin