For the second LG Super Racing Weekend of the 2004 season, the teams and drivers will head south, to the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain. Although the multi-platform series has visited Spain every year since it started in 2001, this is...
For the second LG Super Racing Weekend of the 2004 season, the teams and drivers will head south, to the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain.
Although the multi-platform series has visited Spain every year since it started in 2001, this is the first time it will be going to Valencia. The circuit, 4005 m long, was opened in 1999, and is a modern circuit, which gives excellent viewing conditions to the spectators.
After an interesting initial weekend in Monza, which saw wins for Andrea Belicchi and Ryan Sharp, the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup will also be heading for Valencia. The teams and drivers should all have recent experience of the circuit, as a test session was held there earlier this year.
Other races making up the busy timetable include the Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup, with two races on the Saturday, and the European Alfa Challenge, which races on Saturday and Sunday with a busy field of Alfa 147 cars.
VALENCIA - ACCORDING TO ANTONIO GARCIA
Twenty-three years old, Antonio Garcia is entering his second season of touring car competition, after a successful single-seater career, including the Karting World Championship and 2000 Open Telefonica by Nissan series, and a brief interlude in the FIA GT Championship, where he won the N-GT class at the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa and took four pole positions. For 2004, he has stayed with BMW Team Italy-Spain, alongside Alessandro Zanardi
"I think this a circuit which suits touring cars very well, first of all because there are a lot of points where it is possible to overtake, which will provide a good show. The first two corners will see a lot of fighting and overtaking. Secondly, the characteristics of the track means there should not be big gaps; I expect two action-packed races, with the leading cars closely grouped. As for the cars, both Alfa Romeo and BMW should be equally competitive. The difference in top speed will not be as important as it was in Monza, while acceleration out of the corners should prove decisive. And this will be good for us. It will be interesting to see how the tyres will last over the race distance - although the asphalt here is not very abrasive - and even more how the package car-tyres will endure the hot temperatures. As we have had a very cold winter, nobody had the chance to make a proper test with the new tyres on a hot asphalt. In Valencia it could be very hot, which can really make the difference."
Circuit length : 4005 m
Location : 30m east of Valencia
THE BRITISH DRIVERS FIRST IN ACTION
The FR V6 Eurocup newcomers quickly showed themselves to be efficient on the track - with the British drivers appearing particularly well prepared for the 2004 competition. The first qualifying session in Monza was extremely tough, and in the final moments, Robbie Kerr (Victory Engineering SpA) seized the pole from Mondini by just 6 thousands of a second - a very strong performance.
In the second session, Robert Bell (David Price Racing) took the pole from Neel Jani (Dams) by five hundredths ! This fantastic fight was followed by some exceptional races for the British teams and drivers. Although the Italians Belicchi and Mondini dominated the Grand Race, Scottish driver Ryan Sharp (Jenzer Motorsport) finished third - an incredible performance, considering that he was at the very back of the field at the end of the first lap, and climbed back up to third.
In the second race, the fight for the win, was between pole sitter Bell and eventual winner Sharp, who made the most of a small mistake by Bell at the Ascari corner.
Sharp is leading the championship, but the competition seems to be very open.
22 CARS FOR VALENCIA
There were 20 cars on the grid in Monza, as neither Andrea Scafuro (AFC Motorsport Drive) nor Swen Barth (Interwetten.com) were able to take part in the races, both having damaged their cars during the free practice sessions.
But the sun is sure to be shining in Spain, where the entrants should have great fun on the very technical layout of the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, in Valencia. The second round should prove to be most attractive, as all the entrants took part in an official test at the Spanish track in early March. Neel Jani (DAMS), who was very unlucky during the opening round, was the quickest last month in Valencia, just ahead of Mondini and Sharp. An interesting weekend in prospect
The Eurocup FR 2000 is the best selling single-seater in the world. And the V6 could continue in the same way. Last week in Phoenix, the US FR 2000 championship started in Phoenix, while the Asian FR Challenge got underway in March at Zhuhai (China). The famous single-seater will be present on the tarmac of Shanghai, on June 6th and 7th ,for the official opening of the track. 50 cars are expected for the two races. In September 24/26, 50 Formula Renault 2000 cars will attend the 5th round of the Asian FR Challenge, as an opening event for the first-ever Grand Prix of China.
CHANGES TO THE POINTS SYSTEM FOR 2004
It is important to remind everyone that, this year, Renault Sport has changed slightly the calculations to establish classifications in FR 2000 and FR V6.
1st : 30 points, 2nd 24, 3rd 20, 4th 16, 5th 12, 6th 10, 7th 8, 8th 6, 9th 4 and 10th 2. The driver who gets the pole scores two points, but nowadays no points are awarded for setting the fastest lap.