Seconds out! Just like their "big brothers" in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0's talented young drivers have so far provided us with a dramatic and exciting season. It is true that Dani Clos (Jenzer ...
Just like their "big brothers" in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0's talented young drivers have so far provided us with a dramatic and exciting season. It is true that Dani Clos (Jenzer Motorsport) has dominated proceedings since Istanbul. But Chris Van der Drift (JD Motorsport) is only two points adrift of Clos and Laurent Groppi (Graff Racing), winner of both races in Zolder, makes his comeback at the Nurburgring circuit. Quite a mouthwatering prospect!
If he had not been disqualified from the second race in Misano due the technical non-compliance of his car, Dani Clos would have collected his fourth consecutive win and would be comfortably leading the Eurocup. The young Catalan went some way to putting his disappointment behind him by last week winning the two Italian championship races, also held at the Misano circuit. His performance was enough to move ahead of Adrian Zaugg (Cram Competition), who is clearly having a hard time at the moment in both championships.
Clos' disqualification handed Chris Van der Drift's his first win of the season and moved him to within two points of the leader in the championship standings. Despite producing good performances in testing, like his team-mates Xavier Maasen and Kasper Andersen, the New Zealander has all too often failed to capitalize in qualifying. Something he will need to improve upon if he is to compete with Clos, who has taken the last four pole positions!
Leader in the Eurocup standings going into Misano, Atte Mustonen (Koiranen Bros) suffered his first two retirements this season in Italy. A double disappointment which allowed Carlo Van Dam (SG Formula) to draw level on points despite having a pretty average weekend. The Dutch driver remains optimistic and enthusiastic for the rest of the season!
Winner of both races in the season's opening meeting in Zolder, Laurent Groppi makes his comeback in the Eurocup. After taking control of the French championship, the Graff Racing driver will be keen to keep his run of wins going. The French team's new Brazilian driver, Claudio Cantelli, will make his WSR debut at the Nurburgring.
Just outside the top five, half a dozen drivers are separated by only a handful of points: Bertrand Baguette (Epsilon Euskadi), Filipe Albuquerque (Motopark Academy), Tom Dillmann (SG Formula), Kasper Andersen, Edoardo Piscopo (Cram Competition) and Jaime Alguersuari (Cram Competition). Albuquerque and Piscopo are the only drivers yet to have tasted the champagne on the podium. Perhaps the waiting will be over at the Nurburgring?
As Sebastien Buemi is in Zandvoort for the Masters F3, German team Motopark Academy will hand his no.11 Formula Renault 2.0 over to Canadian Robert Wickens, who has already won two races in Formula BMW USA this season.
Although they cannot score championship points having entered as 'wild cards', several drivers from the French and Italian championships could well be up there with the leaders. The likes of Julien Jousse and Jean-Karl Vernay (SG Formula), 2nd and 3rd in France behind Groppi, are names that spring to mind.
The Eurocup competitors came to Nurburgring for two days of collective testing at the end of March this year. But a rain-soaked track for the two days put paid to any efforts to establish an initial pecking order.