Megane Trophy: Zolder non-points preview

Megane Trophy - just for fun! Since being unveiled at the 2004 Paris Motorshow, Megane Trophy has been attracting lots of attention, and not just from competitors either -- the new car already has quite a following among fans! Due to some ...

Megane Trophy - just for fun!

Since being unveiled at the 2004 Paris Motorshow, Megane Trophy has been attracting lots of attention, and not just from competitors either -- the new car already has quite a following among fans! Due to some cars suffering delays in delivery, Renault Sport has opted not to make the Zolder races count towards the 2005 Eurocup Megane Trophy championship standings. But the two races will go ahead all the same on the Belgian circuit. And with no pressure to score points, drivers will be all the more determined to put on a spectacular show!

With thirty eight cars ordered, Renault Sport has had a major challenge on its hands to build the Megane Trophy cars in time for the start of this season. Despite setting up a semi-industrial production line for the purpose at the Alpine-Renault plant in Dieppe, some of the cars could only be delivered as recently as a few days ago. This being the case, a level playing field obviously couldn't be guaranteed for Zolder, so Renault Sport has taken the decision to turn this weekend's event into two demonstration races. A meeting may be added to the season's schedule, subject to discussions with the competing teams.

Ahead of the trip to Zolder for the first free practice sessions on Friday, teams put their cars through a pre-event shakedown on Tuesday at Spa-Francorchamps.

This weekend, spectators will be able to feast eyes over the new racing saloon as twenty five cars fight it out over the two scheduled races. And with Belgian, Dutch and French rivals out on track, there is sure to be quite an atmosphere in the stands!

But honour to whom honour is due -- home-grown talent will be well represented by Renaud Kuppens (Thierry Boutsen Racing), Jan Heylen and Wim Coekelberg (Racing for Belgium). Kuppens is no stranger to Renault's international saloon car formulas, and re-enters the fray after a season of endurance racing. He will be teaming up with Dutchman Jeffrey Van Hooydonk, who is no other than the 1997 Eurocup Formula Renault champion!

Looking equally impressive are the Racing for Belgium team with Heylen, who steps over from single seater to saloon car category after finishing third in the German F3 championship last year. Jan will be joining forces with the Portuguese driver Cesar Campanico, who took 7th place in the 2004 Eurocup Formula Renault V6.

With ten entries, the French squad have sheer weight of numbers on their side! Frederic Gabillon is back after a transitional season. His team-mate at Lompech Sport is Sebastien Dhouailly, who is also racing Clio Cup in France this year.

Team TP Competition is entering three cars with Renault Derlot, F3 runner-up and Formula Renault 2.0 France champion, Jean-Paul Coppens and Philippe Mace. As far as Tech 1 Racing goes, the "boss" Simon Abadie is teaming up with Mathieu Lahaye, another driver moving over from single-seater formulas. Formula Renault 2.0 cross-over Ludovic Badey will be spear-heading the Pouchelon Racing team, with a second car entered and pending driver announcement. One driver definitely not to be forgotten is Jean-Christophe Ravier: 4th placed in World Series by Nissan 2004, the one-time Kart world champion stays with Epsilon-Euskadi-- but this time with a roof and doors!

Another Kart world champion will be lining up on the grid: Italian Nicola Gianniberti (Oregon Team). Others to watch out for include Swiss driver Marc Benz (Iris Racing), Czech Jiri Janak (Kopecky Motorsport) and Dutchman Frans Verschuur.

-renault-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Thierry Boutsen , Jan Heylen , Cesar Campanico , Jean-Christophe Ravier , Ludovic Badey , Sebastien Dhouailly , Philippe Mace , Simon Abadie , Renaud Kuppens , Marc Benz , Frans Verschuur , Frédéric Gabillon , Jiri Janak , Matthieu Lahaye