The five challenges for Year 3 Not easy to aim higher when you already hold team titles in France and in Europe and the French driver title! The level of Formula Renault being what it is, holding on to these three trophies is not a foregone ...
The five challenges for Year 3
Not easy to aim higher when you already hold team titles in France and in Europe and the French driver title! The level of Formula Renault being what it is, holding on to these three trophies is not a foregone conclusion. That said, however, the SG Formula team is eyeing further challenges in its third year of operation: improving on its 3rd place finish in the 2005 Eurocup and battling to secure the rookie championship in France. The La Rochelle-based team won't therefore be lacking incentive at the starting grid at Nogaro, where the French championship is due to start on 16 April, followed two weeks later by the start of the Eurocup season at Zolder.
Review of SG Formula stable
By Stephane Guerin, team principal
The SG Formula trio lining up for Eurocup 2006 boasts a very international flavour reflecting the nature of the series, whose champion has climbed to F3 Euroseries and its runner-up straight to F1 stepping stone: GP2 Series! A fine mix of talent, youth and experience herald the promise of a most exciting human and sporting adventure.
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
Carlo Van Dam
"The 2005 season enabled us to forge very strong personal links. I think that he'll be there for a tilt at the title this year. The present circumstances are best suited to helping him to do so. Last year, we didn't practice enough before the start of the championship. We've learnt from that and this year Carlo will be taking his place on the starting grid at Nogaro and, perhaps, at other French championship meetings. This is something which 'Start' ("Stichting Aankomend Race Talent", the company in which Carlo's sponsors meet) is working towards and I should like to thank Richard Vergeer and Roel Semmelink for their unconditional support and backing for Carlo."
Essentials: nationality: Dutch, born 27 February 1986. 2001: Karting, European Champion Formula A. 2002: World Championship Formula Super A, 4th. Started single seater racing in 2004: Formula Renault 2.0 Dutch Championship, 5th (best Rookie). 2005: Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, team SG Formula, 4th, 5 podium finishes, 1 fastest lap. www.carlovandam.nl / www.startfighter.com
"Indirectly, we started working together at the end of last season when we arranged for one of our engineers to assist him. Following autumn trials arranged to test the water, we very soon came to accept the idea of his joining us. Although still not 17 years old, he has demonstrated considerable maturity. Lacking the necessary financial backing himself, he has been able to persuade investors to want to invest in him. He has the potential to become a great driver."
Essentials: nationality: French, born 6 April 1989. Son of Gerard Dillman, a championship winning driver. Management: Nicolas Todt. 2001: Karting, winner of the Alsace-Lorraine League in the "Minime" category, National "Trophee des Jeunes" front runner (7th). Started single seater racing in 2004: Formula Renault 1600 Belgian Championship, 5th (1 race win). 2005: Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and French championship.
"An integral part of our strategy has been to throw open team frontiers and keep a place open for a driver from a country which is "new" in motor sporting terms. The test arranged for Sten went off very well. There is enormous interest in his career in Estonia. As an illustration of this, the contract signing ceremony was featured in a prime time National TV news report! His physical preparation coach is the judoka Indrek Pertelson, Estonia's first Olympic double medallist and a genuine local hero. Although Sten's international experience is limited, we shall be taking time off to develop it."
Essentials: nationality: Estonian, born 3 November 1981. 1996: Karting, Junior Estonian Championship Runner-up. Started competitive car racing in 1999: 6 national titles (Formula Baltic). 2004: ADAC Formula BMW German Championship, 18th. www.amk.ee/sten/
Like Carlo Van Dam in the Eurocup, Julien Jousse is still with the team from 2005. This year he is joined by two young crowned heads of the circuit: Nicolas Navarro and Jean-Karl Vernay, currently Formula Renault "rookie driver" champion and Formula Campus champion respectively.
"Continuing to work together has very quickly become a number one priority. Naturally, since we have managed to create an atmosphere of total trust between us. His aim is clear; he wants to win the title. Although he has the speed and natural talent to become French champion, he also needs to achieve a consistent level of performance. I'm a believer, since he has already defeated all his 2006 rivals."
Essentials: nationality: French, born 21 January 1986. Started Karting in 1997. Started single seater racing in 2002 (Formula Ford 1600). 2003: Formula Ford Zetec French Cup, 2 podium finishes. 2004: French Formula Renault 2.0 Championship, 13th (5th Rookie). 2005: French Formula Renault 2.0 Championship with SG Formula, 6th (3 podium finishes including 1 race win, 1 pole position), Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, 6 races, 3 top 10 finishes. www.julienjousse.com
"Nico and I go back a long way. I was his karting mechanic and was also his manager before he went over to motor racing. I've always kept an eye out for him and the fact that we've come together once again is a source of great satisfaction to me. It should not be forgotten that he is the current Rookie champion while not yet the complete package. The decision to come to us was not an easy move for him financially and our agreement does not cover the whole championship, although we shall be looking to find ways and means of seeing them through."
Essentials: nationality: French, born 18 September 1984. Started Karting in 1995. 1996: French National Trophy, Minime category, 2nd. 1998: National Manufacturers Trophy, Cadet category, 2nd. 1999: winner of the Rhône-Alpes League in the "Promo" category. 2003: French ICA Championship, 3rd, ICA European Trophy, 2nd. Started single seater racing in 2004: Formula Campus Renault Elf Runner-up (9 podium finishes including 4 race wins). 2005: French Formula Renault 2.0 Rookie champion.
"I am especially proud to count him part of the team since he is the undisputed champion of the main promotions formula before Formula Renault: 9 out of the 21 La Filiere FFSA drivers in 2005 are moving up into Formula Renault class this year. I've known him for a long time and we began discussing prospects fairly early on in the season. His trials in November and December of last year were highly satisfactory and he's a bright lad and a quick learner. Furthermore, he proved at the beginning of March at Magny-Cours that he can drive fast in the rain on a circuit which is a lottery in those conditions."
Essentials: nationality: French, born 31 October 1987. Started Karting in 1999. 2000: French National Trophy, Cadet category, 3rd. 2002: Junior French Championship, 4th, Monaco Kart Cup, 2nd. 2004: Belgian Championship Runner-up, World Championship finalist, member of the official French Team. Started single seater racing in 2005: Formula Campus Renault Elf Champion (14 podium finishes out of 16 races, category record, including 6 race wins).
Stronger European representation in France
Carlo Van Dam will strengthen the French presence at Nogaro and perhaps beyond. Tom Dillmann, whose season is focused primarily on the Eurocup, will also take part in all French championship events except the test sessions, which the regulations exclude him from attending. The only problem date is the Donington event on 9 September, which is held at the same time as the Albi Grand Prix. The choice of events will depend on Tom's position in the two championship standings.
In a demanding discipline such as Formula Renault racing, it is vital to be able to count on top notch engineers. Once again the team is fortunate enough to have Thibaut de Merindol, ever-present since the creation of SG Formula. Yannick Hubert, who is completing his training at SG Formula, is a symbol of the success of the partnership set up in 2004 with the EIGSI (the La Rochelle School of Industrial System Engineers). Finally, the team has also secured the services of Cyril Comte. Like Thibaut, he has done the hard miles as part of the European title-holding Formula 3 ASM team. This addition to the stable is an affirmation of SG Formula's policy of favouring youth and in-house training.
At a glance: Romain Grosjean part of the Renault Driver Development Program.
French Formula Renault 2005 champion with SG Formula, Romain Grosjean is today part of the established 4-man Renault Driver Development team. Such progress could not leave his former team manager wholly unmoved. "I am proud of the work which we've achieved together since our Karting days" admits Stephane Guerin. "I too am proud and happy for him since, with RDD directly attached to Renault F1, it is a genuine opportunity for him to do well."
SG Formula in Formule Renault : the whole story
French Championship: 22 podium finishes including 13 race wins out of 16 races, 12 pole positions, 10 fastest laps, 2 "one-two". Romain Grosjean French Champion, the complete 4 driver line-up winner of at least one race, and all classified in the top 6 of the final championship ranking. SG Formula awarded Team Champion.
Eurocup: 15 podium finishes including 3 race wins out of 16 races, 4 pole positions, 2 fastest laps, 1 "one-two". Drivers championship: Yann Clairay 3rd, Carlo Van Dam 4th and Romain Grosjean 10th (part season). Julien Jousse 3 times in the top 10 (out of 6 races). SG Formula awarded Team Champion.
4 outings in the Formula Renault 2.0 Dutch Championship, 2 podium finishes. Took part in Macau Grand Prix (Formula Renault 2.0 Asian Championship, in partnership with Chinese team Dyna Ten Motorsport).
2005 statistics : 39 podium finishes, including 16 race wins out of 37 races, 3 " one-two ", 2 Team titles, 1 driver title, 16 pole positions, 12 fast laps.