A voyage of discovery
For the second time this season, the competitors in Formula Renault 3.5 Series will be let loose on a new circuit, for the last meeting of the year at Motorland Aragon. International Draco Racing's Bertrand Baguette arrives in Spain already crowned 2009 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion. Meanwhile, things are less clear-cut in the Teams title, in which International Draco Racing still has a fight on its hands from Carlin Motorsport.
No Belgian driver has won an international title in single-seater racing since Jacky Ickx in Formula 2 back in 1967. By winning the first race at Nurburgring, his third win of the season, before going on to score points for fifth place at the German circuit, Bertrand Baguette succeeded where many have failed. At just 23 years old and a product of the Renault Sport training programme, the Belgian driver will have his mind on Formula 1.
For the last meeting of the season at Motorland Aragon, Baguette will be hoping to finish in style, adding at least one more trophy to his already full shelf. But before he turns the page on this season's Formula Renault 3.5 Series, he will do everything he can to help his team to the Teams title. Along with teammate Marco Barba, he will fight to the finish to wrest the title from Carlin Motorsport.
In the Carlin Motorsport camp, rookies Oliver Turvey and Jaime Alguersuari, both race-winners this season, must close the nine-point gap which separates the British and Italian teams. For Alguersuari, who this season was promoted to official driver for the Toro Rosso Formula 1 team, this last meeting will be his chance to shine in front of his fans. With roots in the region, the Spanish driver should feel very much at home.
The fight for the honorary title of runner-up is equally hotly contested. Tech 1 Racing's Charles Pic seems ideally placed to claim second-place. Reinvigorated by his first win of the season, which he claimed at Nurburgring ahead of teammate Brendon Hartley, the Frenchman's mission in Spain is to hold off P1 Motorsport's James Walker and Jaime Alguersuari. Oliver Turvey, along with Mofaz Fortec Motorsport's Fairuz Fauzy and Pons Racing's Marcos Martinez could also be in with a chance for this hard-fought second-place.
Portimao, which like Motorland Aragon is a circuit which FR3.5 visited for the first time this season, was a major success for the rookies, with wins for both Jaime Alguersuari and Comtec Racing's Jon Lancaster, but also with the first podium finish for the new Formula Renault 3.5 Series team, KMP Group/SG Formula. Everyone therefore comes to Spain on an even footing, with the firm intention to go out with a flourish. For Lancaster, Epsilon Euskadi's Chris Van der Drift, Brendon Hartley or P1 Motorsport's Daniil Move, it will be their chance to show off one last time this season. As for KMP Group/SG Formula, they will be dreaming of a first win in the class, the perfect way to enter the new season.
After the last two races of the season, followed by the official World Series by Renault prize-giving ceremony, the teams will remain at the circuit for three days of collective testing from October 27-29. In addition to the stars of the various Formula Renault 2.0 championships invited by Renault Sport Technologies to discover Formula Renault 3.5, the teams will be able to test their new drivers for the 2010 season.