UK: Series Silverstone II preview

WINTER SERIES GRID BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE REGISTRATION for the 2008 Formula Renault UK Winter Cup opens this weekend with early interest as strong as ever and many teams already signing drivers to race in the four-round series. Rounds one and ...

WINTER SERIES GRID BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE

REGISTRATION for the 2008 Formula Renault UK Winter Cup opens this weekend with early interest as strong as ever and many teams already signing drivers to race in the four-round series.

Rounds one and two take place at Croft on Saturday, 1st November, followed by rounds three and four at Rockingham seven days later.

Race-winner Dean Stoneman will race for Alpine Motorsport, which is planning a four-car team. Its Formula Renault BARC driver Isa Yousif will be one of Stoneman's teammates.

Last year's winning team Hillspeed, which ran Richard Singleton to the title in 2007, has signed Formula Renault BARC drivers Michael Lyons and Menasheh Idafar to race in the UK Class, with KF2 kart racer James Thoedore entering the BARC Class.

CR Scuderia and Manor Competition both have one driver signed of planned four-car squads, while Fortec Motorsport also expects to enter four cars. Mark Burdett Motorsport anticipates three drivers will sign, while Apotex Scorpio Motorsport may run Ollie Hancock if the current championship leader wins the free registration on offer to the Formula Renault BARC champion.

THIRD TIME LUCKY: Dean Stoneman is preparing for his third Formula Renault UK Winter Cup. After finishing 19th in 2006 and 6th with one podium in 2007 he will be gunning for the title this November

RENAULT PAST - HEIKKI KOVALAINEN

Who: Followed countryman Kimi Raikkonen in racing one season in Formula Renault UK, finishing fourth in 2001. Stayed with Fortec to race in Formula 3 before winning World Series by Nissan, then racing in GP2 and Formula One.

FLYING: Kovalainen had two wins in his single season in Formula Renault UK

They say: "I saw Heikki karting in Finland and then gave him some testing. During the season he was doing national service and had to fly home to Finland so it was hard work, but his talent was such that he was soon winning races. I'm very pleased he's gone on to win in F1." (Richard Dutton, Team Principal)

CHAMP ELECT: Ollie Hancock took a dominant victory in the wet at Snetterton to move to the brink of the Formula Renault BARC title. A second place in round eight added to the round nine victory puts him 47 points ahead of Johannes Seidlitz with 51 left to win. Isa Yousif took his first series win in round eight to lie third, ahead of Menasheh Idafar.

- Renault Sport UK's second annual charity duathlon, held at Oulton Park and won once again by Alexander Sims, achieved its target of raising 500GBP. The total was split and donated to Barnardo's and the North West Air Ambulance. Highlights of the race will be shown on Motorsport UK in the week beginning 29th September.

- Graduate Cup drivers are having their best year since the category for rookies was introduced in 2005 with five featuring in the top 10 in the overall standings. Dean Stoneman leads the way, 42 points ahead of fellow race winner James Calado. Scott Jenkins, Oli Webb and Josh Scott are covered by just four points in eighth to 10th overall.

- Episode 18 of ITV's Motorsport UK show is currently airing highlights of round 12 of the Formula Renault UK Championship from Silverstone during World Series by Renault. The show has its final airing on ITV4 on 30th September and is also available to view via ITV's online catch up service. A feature on Duncan Tappy is included in the episode.

-credit: renaultsport.co.uk

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Duncan Tappy , Alexander Sims , Ollie Hancock , Dean Stoneman , James Calado , Menasheh Idafar