In a few weeks, the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup will kick off on the Nogaro circuit. The original calendar has been slightly modified. The Formula Renault 2.0 WEC will not go to Dijon but instead will return to Spa-Francorchamps to everybody’s great delight!In just under a month the drivers in the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup will line up for the first race of the year. The second season’s kick-off will take place where the Formula Renault WEC first saw the light of day – Nogaro! The FR 2.0 WEC will be part of major meetings like the World Series by Renault, the WTCC and the FFSA Super Series. During the course of the season the teams will go from Nogaro to Portimao by way of Barcelona, Pau, Magny-Cours, Valencia and Spa-Francorchamps.
The mythic Belgian circuit will replace the Dijon-Prenois round on the 2009 calendar. The drivers in the Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup will attempt to tame the awesome Spa-Francorchamps layout in early June, so the weather should be better than last year!
The Formula Renault 2.0 West European Cup Organisation Committee has made a point of keeping to the high-quality standards that have ensured the success of this championship. Thus, the FR 2.0 WEC will run only on circuits homologated by the FIA, and technical checks complying with Renault Sport Technologies rigorous standards will be carried out. ORECA is looking after the engine back-up at the majority of the events, and a single clerk of the course has been nominated for the whole season. Everything has been arranged to provide a level playing field from both a technical and sporting point of view.
Entrywise, three of the main Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 teams have already committed themselves: SG Formula, Epsilon Euskadi and Fortec Motorsport. The battle for victory looks like being a hard-fought one. Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula) and Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi), who were among last year’s front-runners in the FR 2.0 WEC, are the hot favourites. But they will have their work cut out to fend off rivals like Miki Monras (SG Formula) Miguel Otegui (Epsilon Euskadi), Julien Abelli (SG Formula), Nathanaël Berthon (Epsilon Euskadi), Ramez Azzam (SG Formula) and Carlos Munos (Epsilon Euskadi) who already have some experience of this championship.
The rookies will also be out to fight at the front. Arthur Pic (SG Formula), winner of the 2008 Formul’Academy Euroseries, Dominic Storey (SG Formula), Hugo Valente (SG Formula) and Kevin Breysse (SG Formula) learn quickly and will soon be outright victory contenders. In addition, all the French drivers will compete for the FFSA Formula Renault 2.0 Championship with Jean-Eric Vergne defending his 2008 title.
Pole Services, winner of a race last season, has also entered Benjamin Lariche and a driver to be announced. English team, Fortec Motorsport, should finalise its entry and drivers in the next few weeks. Other teams like Hill Speed and lquick Valencia will take part in selected rounds. The final on the Portimao circuit will be an event not to be missed: it will be a kind of “Winter Cup.”
2009 Calendar10th – 13th April: Nogaro – FFSA Super Series - France17th – 19th April: Barcelona - World Series by Renault - Spain15th – 17th May: Pau – World Touring Car Championship - France29th – 31st May: Magny-Cours – FFSA Super Series - France5th – 7th June: Spa-Francorchamps – 12h00 BTCS - Belgium11th – 13th September: Valencia – Spain6th – 8th November: Portimao – Portugal
2009 Collective tests: 7th – 8th April: Nogaro27th – 28th May: Magny-Cours + 2 days in Valencia to be announced.
2009 Entry list
N°/ Name/ Team/Nat 1 VERGNE Jean Eric SG FORMULA FRA 2 MONRAS Miki SG FORMULA ESP 3 PIC Arthur SG FORMULA FRA 4 STOREY Dominic SG FORMULA NZE 5 VALENTE Hugo SG FORMULA FRA 6 ABELLI Julien SG FORMULA FRA 7 AZZAM Ramez SG FORMULA EAU 8 BREYSSE Kevin SG FORMULA FRA 9 LARICHE Benjamin POLE SERVICES FRA 10 TBA POLE SERVICES11 COSTA Albert EPSILON EUSKADI ESP 12 OTEGUI Miguel EPSILON EUSKADI ESP 14 BERTHON Nathanaël EPSILON EUSKADI FRA 15 MUNOZ Carlos EPSILON EUSKADI ESP 16 TBA EPSILON EUSKADI25 TBA FORTEC MOTORSPORT 26 TBA FORTEC MOTORSPORT