Changes unveiled for 2009
The World Series by Renault organizing committee has presented to the teams the changes to be introduced in the three international WSR championships -- Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Eurocup Megane Trophy -- for the 2009 season.
Calendar: focus on F1 circuits
In 2009 the World Series by Renault will once again give the stars of tomorrow the opportunity to hone their skills at top-class circuits.
Seven World Series by Renault meetings will be held at Europe's greatest motor racing venues in countries including Belgium, the UK, Spain, Hungary and France. The Formula Renault 3.5 Series calendar will feature two additional weekends, including a visit to Monaco, where it will act as the curtain-raiser for the most prestigious Formula 1 Grand Prix of the year.
Formula Renault 3.5 Series: ever closer to F1
In order to reduce season costs and better showcase drivers' natural talent, the Thursday test sessions will be discontinued. There will also be changes to the format of the meeting proper, with increased track time. Two one-hour sessions of collective testing will be held on the Friday. Qualifying remains unchanged, with the spectacular SuperPole format retained, while the duration of the races will be extended to 50 minutes.
In order to encourage a combative spirit among drivers, a bonus point will be awarded to the driver who climbs the most places in the race order within each race.
At the halfway point of the season, the leader of the overall standings will be given the opportunity to drive a Renault R28 as part of an F1 Show held at a World Series by Renault meeting, while the eventual champion will be offered a test with the ING Renault F1 Team at the end of the year.
Finally, the aerodynamics of the Formula Renault 3.5 car will undergo minor enhancements inspired by the 2009 F1 regulations.
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0: a passport to Formula Renault 3.5 Series
The winner of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 will be awarded a 500,000 EUR grant to help them make the step up to Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2010. The top three in the Eurocup will also be invited to test-drive the Formula Renault 3.5.
As will be the case for the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, collective testing will be held on the Friday only, with two 40-minute sessions. The meeting format remains unaltered, with a 15-minute qualifying session, a 15-minute SuperPole and two races lasting 25 minutes + 1 lap.
The decision has been taken to reduce the number of competing cars to 38, to be selected by the World Series by Renault organizing committee. This step will reinforce the elite nature of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and boost national Formula Renault 2.0 championships.
Eurocup Megane Trophy: a new car
New Megane Trophy will be unveiled in a few days' time by Carlos Ghosn at the Paris Motor Show (October 4-19).
After each race, 20,000 EUR in prize money will be divided among the best performers, including 5,000 EUR for the winner. In all, 280,000 EUR in prize money will be awarded over the Eurocup Megane Trophy season.
A loyalty bonus will also be introduced. Every car that competes for the whole season will be rewarded with a sum of 12,000 EUR.
The format of the meetings will be as in 2008, with two hours of collective testing on Friday, a 20-minute qualifying session and two races lasting 40 minutes + 1 lap with a mandatory refueling stop. The Gentlemen Drivers category, which proved a great success in 2008, is to be continued.