NEC: Series Oschersleben preview

Back to Germany again: Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 with the FIA GT in Oschersleben Fascinating supercars in the FIA GT Championship and fascinating single- seater action in the Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 (NEC FR2.0)...

Back to Germany again: Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 with the FIA GT in Oschersleben

Fascinating supercars in the FIA GT Championship and fascinating single- seater action in the Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 (NEC FR2.0) - that is the programme for next weekend's race meeting at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben in Germany. The modern facility, halfway in between Hanover and Berlin, will be hosting the fourth weekend of racing in the NEC FR2.0. For teams and drivers, it will be the second meeting of the season to be held on German territory after the season opener at Hockenheim.

It is probably the best combination for any red-blooded motoring and motorsport fan: the FIA GT Championship with its breath-taking supercars like Maserati MC12, Aston Martin DB9, Corvette Z06, Saleen S7, Lamborghini Murciealago, Ferrari 430 and Porsche 997 GT3 RSR, combined with the production-based GT-cars in the GT3- and GT4-series, and the spirited fights of ambitious, young up-and-coming drivers in the NEC FR 2.0. "For us, it is very nice to be able to race in the support programme of such a prestigious series as the FIA GT Championship", says Cara de Vlaming on behalf of the NEC-organisation.

After six rounds in the NEC FR 2.0 held so far, Finnish driver, Valtteri Bottas is the man to beat: with six victories to his name, he holds a comfortable lead in the points' standings. However, like some other regular drivers from the ranks of the NEC FR 2.0, Bottas has opted to miss out on the Oschersleben round because he will be competing in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 at the Hungaroring at the same weekend. This means that there will definitely be a different winner in the NEC FR 2.0 at Oschersleben for the first time this season. The list of candidates is long: Dutch drivers Stef Dusseldorp (van Amersfoort Racing) and Nicky Catsburg (MP Motorsport) are favorites as are the Dane Johan Jokinen and Portuguese Felix da Costa who are representing the German Motopark Academy team in its home event. Da Costa has already been on the podium four times this season and currently is placed third in the drivers' standings. At Oschersleben, in the absence of runner-up, Tobias Hegewald, GU Racing's Maximilian Wissel will be the best-placed German driver, tenth in the points' standings. SL Formula Racing's lady racer, Marlene Dietrich is also representing her home country during the Oschersleben round.

Formula Renault action at Oschersleben will start on Friday at 9.00 with a free practice session of 90 minutes, followed by another 90 minutes' session starting at 13.30 h. Qualifying, as usual in two heats with separate classifications to determine the starting grid for each of the two races, is scheduled for Friday at 17.35 h. The first race will start on Saturday at 16.30 h, the second race will be held on Sunday at 16.40 h. Both races will be run over a duration of 25 minutes each. TV-footage can be watched on the internet via www.raceworld.tv

Q & A with Marlene Dietrich (SL Formula Racing), in her first season in the NEC FR 2.0

You are in your first season of racing in the NEC. What has your season been like so far?

Actually, it hasn't been going as well as I had expected. After pre-season testing, I thought that regular top ten results would be realistic for me, but as it turned out, things haven't been that easy for me so far in qualifying and in the races. I have had some difficulties with finding the right set-up. On the other hand, my results are getting better and better, so it is fair to say that the trend is positive.

You have raced in other categories as well. How do you rate FR 2.0 against them?

Formula Renault 2.0 certainly is the fastest racing category I have been competing in. Also, the Formula Renault car provides more opportunities for adjusting the set-up and fine-tuning than the cars I raced in before. You can also say that competition in Formula Renault is very close.

What do you expect from Oschersleben?

Testing at Oschersleben went very well for me and I have already raced there three years, so the track is nothing new. Hopefully, I can finally get this top ten result I have been hoping for for such a long time. My favourite part at Oschersleben certainly is the triple left-hander. Spectators really should come and watch our races at Oschersleben. First of all, because the NEC FR 2.0 is a great series and secondly because the races will be very interesting.

Does it make any difference to you being a female driver?

Obviously, I don't know what it would have been like as a male driver! But jokes aside, motor racing is still very much a men's world, so it is probably more difficult for a female driver to make your way and to start a career in motorsport. But it is pleasant to see that more and more girls are getting started in karting and also at lower levels, so it is getting better and better for us!

-credit: necup.com

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Tobias Hegewald , Maximilian Wissel , Johan Jokinen , Stef Dusseldorp , Nicky Catsburg
Teams MP Motorsport , Formula Racing