EU 2000: Zolder preview

Now, that's what I call global! With a total of nineteen nationalities involved, the entry list for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 knows no frontier. Around ten drivers from as far a field as China, Argentina, Japan, Brazil, Colombia, Russia or...

Now, that's what I call global!

With a total of nineteen nationalities involved, the entry list for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 knows no frontier. Around ten drivers from as far a field as China, Argentina, Japan, Brazil, Colombia, Russia or South Africa will try their best to steal the show from drivers from "Old Europe". It promises to be quite a fight at Zolder!

Who will succeed Scott Speed as champion? After last year's victory, the American driver has continued to hit the headlines, both for his performances in GP2 Series as well as his test times behind the wheel of the RedBull Racing F1 car. Achievements that can only serve to inspire and motivate those drivers looking to take over from him as champion -- and there are plenty of them! Like Speed, the winner of the 2005 Eurocup will win prize money of 200,000^a in order to pursue his career within the Renault family of track-racing formulas.

Since the end of the 2004 season, Renault Sport has organized four private test sessions, each over two days, at Monza, Le Mans, Valencia and Oschersleben. Teams have been able to test their new drivers whilst making final adjustments to their Formula Renault 2.0 car set-ups. But at Zolder, everyone will be back to square one, more or less, as the Eurocup has not been raced at this Belgian circuit since 2001.

Four drivers from three different continents regularly made the front running during the off-season: British driver Westley Barber (Comtec Racing), Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi (Prema Power Team), Dutchman Tom Strous Jr. (Mr. Glow Motorsport) and South African Adrian Zaugg (Jenzer Motorsport). These four men are already very familiar with the Formula Renault 2.0 car, having raced during the 2004 season.

But they won't be out their on their own -- drivers from the reigning team champions, Motopark Oschersleben, Jim Ka To from China and Argentinean Matias Milla, along with the rookie, Finnish driver Teemu Nyman, may well be turning heads.

Fourth in the 2004 Eurocup, Austrian driver Reinhard Kofler (Cram Competition) kept himself to himself this winter, ducking the majority of the private testing. But he still must be considered to be one the favourites!

Several drivers coming in from national championships will be capable of competing for a place on the podium, including Frenchman Yann Clairay (SG Formula), German driver Michael Ammermuller (Jenzer Motorsport), the Dane Kasper Andersen (Team Formula Sport), Brazilian Patrick Rocha (Prema Power Team), as well as Russian driver Michael Aleshin (Lukoil Racing Team) and Swiss driver Romain Grosjean (SG Formula).

Jerôme d'Ambrosio (Euronova Racing), will also be aiming to finish in the first three and will be racing on home territory. Best rookie in the 2004 French championship, the Belgian driver is currently fourth in the Italian championship. The crowd will also be behind fellow countryman Bertrand Baguette who, like French driver Tom Dillmann (Prema Power Team), is a former Belgian Formula Renault 1.6 championship driver.

The list of entrants also features a household name. Colombian Frederico Montoya (Jenzer Motorsport), brother of Juan-Pablo, will be looking to make a name for himself after having earned his spurs in Formula BMW!

Up against 36 men, two young women will want to impress: look out for British driver Pippa Mann (Comtec Racing) and Swiss driver Cyndie Allemann (SL Formula Racing).

<pre> SCHEDULE:

Thursday April 28 11:05: Joint practice 15:05: Joint practice

Friday April 29 15:45: Free practice

Saturday April 30 09:45: Qualifying 1 13:05: Qualifying 2

Sunday May 1 16:25: Race 1 12:45: Race 2

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Scott Speed , Westley Barber , Pippa Mann , Yann Clairay , Kasper Andersen , Patrick Rocha , Kamui Kobayashi , Bertrand Baguette , Adrian Zaugg , Jérôme d'Ambrosio , Tom Dillmann , Romain Grosjean , Reinhard Kofler , Michael Ammermüller , Jim Ka To
Teams Jenzer Motorsport , Formula Racing