Who will be King of Pau? The World Touring Car Championship will share the streets of Pau with the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup. The young chargers in the championship will be faced with the specific challenges of a city circuit for the...
Who will be King of Pau?
The World Touring Car Championship will share the streets of Pau with the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup. The young chargers in the championship will be faced with the specific challenges of a city circuit for the only time this year. Like the other drivers from the Auto Sport Academy, overall leader Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula) has already raced in Pau, which could give him a decisive edge.
A win on a city circuit is always good for a driver to have in his results. In Pau, where the slightest error can prove fatal, the young guns in the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup will have their first taste of this layout in their Formula Renault 2.0s.
Seven drivers already know the track: Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula), Hugo Valente (SG Formula), Arthur Pic (SG Formula), Ramez Azzam (SG Driver's Project), Kevin Breysse (SG Driver's Project), Benjamin Lariche (Pole Services) and Arno Santamato (Epsilon Sport). They have all been trained by the Auto Sport Academy and the 2.760 km Pau layout holds no secrets for them. Last year, Arno Santamato won a race here in Formul'Academy.
After the opening rounds at Nogaro and in Barcelona, Vergne leads with three victories out of four races. He is followed by Miki Monras (SG Formula) and Julien Abelli (SG Driver's Project). By winning the second race in Barcelona the latter showed that all the drivers running under the SG banner are in with a chance of victory. So Vergne knows what he is up against, and that to win he can only count on himself.
Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi), leader of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, had a perfect weekend at Spa, and is ready to take up the Pau challenge. The Spaniard doesn't know this circuit and neither does Epsilon Euskadi, but they need to shine on the city layout at the foot of the Pyrenees. Costa is thirty-one points behind Vergne and he has no choice but to take the maximum amount of risks. Watch out for the guardrail! Another setback could seriously compromise his title chances. His team-mates, Carlos Munoz and Nanhanael Berthon, are also facing the unknown. They can count on the arrival of Miguel Otegui for the rest of the season. He is an additional reinforcement for Joan Villadelprat's squad that is out to take the fight to the front-runners.
Iquick Valencia rejoins the ranks of the Formula Renault 2.0 WEC for this exceptional event. Dane Johan Jokinen and German Patrick Kronenberger have already proved their speed in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. These two coming men integrated into a Spanish team that is pushing to the front, will be tough rivals for the WEC regulars, for whom Arno Santamato and Luciano Bacheta, entered by French outfit Epsilon Sport, will also provide additional competition.
After a forty-five-minute collective practice, the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup runners will have a single 30-minute qualifying session. A good grid position is always the best way of avoiding the pitfalls of a city circuit. So the ability to learn the layout quickly as well as choosing the right set-up is more crucial than ever in Pau.