EU 2000: Valencia preview

Everyone gunning for Ammermuller One month after the opening round of the season in Zolder, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 drivers are preparing to take over the Valencia circuit in Spain. Thirty six drivers have just one thing in mind:...

Everyone gunning for Ammermuller

One month after the opening round of the season in Zolder, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 drivers are preparing to take over the Valencia circuit in Spain. Thirty six drivers have just one thing in mind: to topple Michael Ammermuller (Jenzer Motorsport) from his position at the top of the leaderboard after the outrageously dominating form he showed in Belgium.

It may be no coincidence that Michael Ammermuller's favourite driver is called Michael Schumacher. In Zolder, the German won everything in sight in a performance reminiscent of his illustrious compatriot: two pole positions, two victories after two races led from start to finish and the best laps to boot. It was total domination of the kind rarely seen in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. And, as if that was not enough, Michael is also currently leading the Italian Championship!

But don't let yourself be fooled. There are plenty of drivers out there with the potential to beat Ammermuller. Currently lying third in the overall standings, the Austrian Reinhard Kofler (Cram Competition) won in Valencia last year with JD Motorsport, who are now pinning their hopes on Xavier Maasen. Kofler will be eager to put in a repeat performance!

Another driver to watch closely is Junior Strous (Mr. Glow Motorsport) who was excellent throughout the opening weekend. The sole driver of the family team, the Dutchman is undaunted by competition from the larger outfits. He will be keen to recover the points he lost in the second race in Belgium due to a penalty he received for failing to comply with the rolling start procedure.

Nevertheless, the driver who has shown the best recent form is Kamui Kobayashi (Prema Power Team). After an anonymous performance in Zolder, the Japanese driver stamped his name in everyone's memories by taking the last two races in the Formula Renault 2.0 Italian Championship in Imola, bringing him up to just behind Ammermuller in the overall standings. Then, he proved himself to be the fastest out there in the joint practice sessions organized by Renault Sport in Oschersleben last week.

Another driver on top form is the Swiss-French driver Romain Grosjean (SG Formula), who has won the last four races of the French championship. Also lining up on the grid for the French team will be Carlo Van Dam, second fastest in testing in Oschersleben, Yann Clairay, second in Valencia last year and Franck Mailleux. Two other drivers from the French Championship, Ulric Amado and Bruce Lorgere-Roux will be lining up alongside Julien Canal and Hiroyuki Matsumura for Graff Racing. The French team also have Nicolas Prost in their line up. The son of the four-times Formula 1 World Champion is progressing with every race. His battle with Frederico Montoya (Jenzer Motorsport), the brother of Juan Pablo, will be one to watch!

On the podium for the first race in Zolder, the British driver Westley Barber is the final name on the list of favourites. Comtec Racing opted not to take part in testing in Oschersleben and the Dijon round of the French championship so as to be fully prepared for Spain.

Three Spanish drivers will be lining up for the event. For the moment, Juan Antonio del Pino (Epsilon Euskadi) is the best of the three, having managed to score one point in Zolder. Dani Clos and Miguel Molina, who both drive for Pons Racing, will hope to do better than they did in Zolder, where they brought up the rear of the field.

-renault-

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Junior Strous , Yann Clairay , Julien Canal , Xavier Maassen , Frederico Montoya , Juan Antonio del Pino , Bruce Lorgere-Roux , Romain Grosjean , Franck Mailleux , Nicolas Prost , Miguel Molina , Carlo Va , Dani Clos , Reinhard Kofler , Michael Ammermüller , Ulric Amado
Teams Jenzer Motorsport