EU 2000: Round eight Imola preview

Speed in sight of the title! After several weeks of well-earned rest, it's back to work for the Eurocup 2004. And where better to get things moving again than Imola, with Rimini's coast and dance party atmosphere just 150km away. But there's no...

Speed in sight of the title!

After several weeks of well-earned rest, it's back to work for the Eurocup 2004. And where better to get things moving again than Imola, with Rimini's coast and dance party atmosphere just 150km away. But there's no chance of an extended holiday for the FR 2000 drivers, as they get back down to business for the penultimate round of the season.

With just four races to go in this year's Eurocup championship, the title may be decided at Imola's Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit, in San Marino. As we race to this season's finish line, it's hard to imagine anyone knocking the American ace Scott Speed (Motopark Oschersleben) from the number one spot. With five race wins in a row to his credit, Speed is the undisputed leader in the standings, having overcome all obstacles in his path and put the others firmly in their place. Second place overall is France's Simon Pagenaud (Graff Racing), who despite some excellent performances this year is still 46 points adrift of the leader. A distance that's not insurmountable, but which nevertheless offers Speed a comfortable cushion. Mathematically, six drivers are still in with a shot of the title: Speed, Pagenaud, Kofler, Kochem, Moreau and Fleming. Though for the last four, the gap to make up is over 100 points wide! This makes Pagenaud the only realistic threat in the championship race, but the Frenchman's most recent performances would suggest he's not in flying form.

Another major factor is the highly technical Imola circuit itself, whose fast straights and tight turns put any of the outsiders in with a chance of giving us a surprise or two.

Speed could wrap up the title here, which would add the seal to his superb winter off-season and trackside performances.

But we mustn't forget how drivers like Fleming, Moreau and Kochem have made things very difficult for the American in the last few meetings.

Whatever happens, Speed has definitely made his mark. And anything can happen between now and the final chequered flag in Oschersleben in two weeks.

<pre> General Classification after 7 rounds 1) Speed (Motopark Oschersleben) 252 points 2) Pagenaud (Graff Racing) 206 points 3) Kofler (JD Motorsport) 156 points 4) Kochem (Jenzer Motorsport) 152 points 5) Moreau (SG-Formula) 148 points 6) Fleming (Jenzer Motorsport) 142 points 7) Pastor Maldonado 116 points 8) Paul Meijer (AR Motorsport) 100 points 9) Pilet (Graff Racing) 88 points 10) Clairay (SG Formula) 66 points

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Scott Speed , Pastor Maldonado , Simon Pagenaud , Paul Meijer
Teams Jenzer Motorsport