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Formula Renault 3.5

The final act of the 2011 World Series by Renault season took place at the National Contemporary Art Museum of Catalonia, housed at Barcelona’s Palau Nacional. In the presence of Renault design chief Laurens Van den Acker, the champion drivers and teams of 2011 stepped up to collect their trophies after a colourful finale at the Catalonia track, watched by a crowd of 62,000. No sooner had the old season ended, however, than thoughts turned to the new one, with the unveiling of the 2012 race calendar, which includes (subject to the FIA’s approval) an all-new Russian leg at the soon to be opened Moscow Raceway.

Patrice Ratti, Managing Director Renault Sport Technologies: “All the drivers, engineers, mechanics, team managers, partners and everyone involved in the World Series by Renault have played their part in what has been a successful 2011. In these times of crisis, as the automotive industry continues to struggle, it is important to remain positive, and it is good to see that there are still drivers who dream of reaching of the top and many, many enthusiastic people who are still thrilled by motorsport. The World Series by Renault is unique and we are determined to maintain our position as leaders by doing everything we can to ensure it provides even more entertainment. The success of our events is founded on the quality of our cars, on the perfect balance between technology and sport, and on the thriving relationships between all the stakeholders in these events. Every single-seater driver dreams of reaching Formula One, and we are convinced that the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 3.5 Series provide us with the most direct route to that goal, and with the best cost ratio as well. Some 50% of the drivers in the Formula One field today have raced in Formula Renault, and we would like to congratulate Sebastian Vettel for his second world championship and remind everyone that he went straight from the Formula Renault 3.5 Series to Formula One in 2007. Jaime Alguersuari and Daniel Ricciardo have both switched to the F1 grid since then and we hope to see both Robert Wickens and Jean-Eric Vergne do the same. Well done and thanks to everyone for a great season.”

Jean-Pascal Dauce, Director of Motorsport Renault Sport Technologies: “2011 has been an exceptional season and we have fantastic champions in all four World Series by Renault events. Nicolas Milan has been in a class of his own in Eurocup Clio and will drive in next year’s Eurocup Megane Trophy, which has this season been dominated by Stefano Comini. He is now preparing hard for his test drive with NISMO in a Nissan GT-R GT1, and we hope that Stefano will impress, as Nick Catsburg did before him. In Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Robin Frijns has also had a fantastic year. Finishing in the top five in every race and winning five races in all, he sealed the title at the Paul Ricard HTTT and will now complete his first laps behind the wheel of a Formula Renault 3.5. The €500,000 prize he has received for winning the title should help him follow in the footsteps of Albert Costa and Kevin Korjus and move up to the next level. Finally, the Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship went down to the last race, with Robert Wickens prevailing to earn a Formula One test drive with Lotus Renault GP. Congratulations to him and his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, both of whom have been in brilliant form. Congratulations should also go to Alexander Rossi, who finished third overall and was the leading rookie. The American impressed throughout the year and should he return next season, and it seems that he wants to, he will surely be one of the favourites for the title.”

Formula Renault 3.5 Series: Wickens takes the crown as Costa wins final race
The destiny of the 2011 championship remained in doubt till the end, as Robert Wickens scraped home by nine points from Jean-Eric Vergne after the two collided at the start of Sunday’s race, the Canadian retiring immediately and the Frenchman being forced out late on. “I’ve been through all the emotions,” said a relieved Wickens afterwards. “I’ve finished runner-up in F2 and then GP2 in the last two seasons and when I retired at the first turn of the last race I was afraid that history was going to repeat itself. Things worked out for in the end, though. I’m proud to have won this title and I’d like to congratulate Jean-Eric Vergne. He’s the best team-mate and rival I’ve ever had. He pushed me all the way. We’re now going to prepare for the future with my partners and Marussia Virgin Racing, which starts with the Lotus Renault GP test drive in Abu Dhabi.”

It was Albert Costa who took the final chequered flag of the season, the Spaniard earning his first FR 3.5 Series win after also claiming his maiden pole in the event, boosting his preparations for 2012.

Race 1: 1st – R. Wickens, CAN, (Carlin); 2nd – J.E. Vergne, FRA (Carlin); 3rd – D. Move, RUS (P1 Motorsport)
Race 2: 1st – A. Costa, ESP (Epic Racing); 2nd – N. Yelloly, GBR (Pons Racing); 3rd – B. Hartley, NZE (Gravity-Charouz),
Overall standings: 1st – R. Wickens, 241 pts; 2nd – J.E. Vergne, 232 pts; 3rd – A. Rossi, 156 pts
Teams: 1st – Carlin, 473 pts; 2nd – Fortec Motorsports, 203 pts; 3rd – ISR, 181 pts

Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0: Home drivers on song
The Catalans had a weekend to remember at Barcelona, taking the honours in both Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 races. Fresh from winning the Formula Renault ALPS title a few weeks ago, Javier Tarancon secured his first win in the discipline on Saturday, with Alex Riberas following suit on Sunday. Finishing behind them on both occasions was Spain’s Carlos Sainz Jr, with his Koiranen Motorsport colleague Daniil Kvyat taking third in both races, the duo collecting the points that sealed the team title for the Finnish outfit. While Sainz Jr is now moving on to British F3 International Series, and Kvyat to Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, the season’s champion driver Robin Frijns will be racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series next year.
Race 1: 1st – J. Tarancon, ESP (Tech 1 Racing); 2nd – C. Sainz Jr, ESP (Koiranen Motorsports); 3rd – D. Kvyat, RUS (Koiranen Motorsport)
Race 2: 1st – A. Riberas, ESP (Epic Racing); 2nd – C. Sainz Jr; 3rd – D. Kvyat
Overall standings: 1st – R. Frijns, 245 pts; 2nd – C. Sainz Jr, 200 pts; 3rd – D. Kvyat, 155 pts
Teams: 1st – Koiranen Motorsport, 355 pts; 2nd – Josef Kaufmann Racing, 303 pts; 3rd – Fortec Motorsports, 175 pts

Eurocup Megane Trophy: Comini in a class of his own
A Formula Renault 3.5 Series driver from 2006 to 2008, Alvaro Barba made an instant impression in the Eurocup Megane Trophy, finishing second behind the insatiable Stefano Comini in his first race in the event. Comini ended a season in which he has claimed 12 pole positions and 11 wins by crossing the line first in the final race only to be disqualified for breaching parc ferme regulations and causing a security risk at the end of the race. The Swiss driver’s exclusion allowed Niccolo Nalio to take the win. The Italian, who took second place overall, ahead of Bas Schothorst, announced that he will be fighting for the title next season.
Race 1: 1st – S. Comini, SUI (Oregon Team); 2nd – A. Barba, ESP (Equipe Verschuur); 3rd – M. Faccin, ITA (Boutsen Energy Racing)
Race 2: 1st – N. Nalio, ITA (Oregon Team); 2nd – D. Dermont, BEL (TDS Racing); 3rd – T. Forné, ESP (Pujolaracing)
Overall standings: 1st – S. Comini, 305 pts; 2nd – N. Nalio, 188 pts; 3rd – B. Schothorst, 149 pts
Teams: 1st – Oregon Team, 493 pts; 2nd – TDS Racing, 284 pts; 3rd – Boutsen Energy Racing, 190 pts

Eurocup Clio: Milan signs off in style
Making his final Eurocup Clio appearance before switching to the Eurocup Megane Trophy next season, 2011 champion Nicolas Milan signed off with a first and a second place. “I really wanted to leave Eurocup Clio on a high, and a second place and a win is just perfect,” said the Frenchman. “I’m off to the Eurocup Megane Trophy now, which will be my first experience of a rear-wheel drive car. I’ve still got some important Clio races coming up, though. The Spanish Clio Cup title is within reach, which would give me a clean sweep this season: Eurocup Clio, French Clio Cup and Spanish Clio Cup. That would be amazing.”
Race 1: 1st – N. Milan, FRA (Milan Competition); 2nd – M.Verschuur, NED (Equipe Verschuur); 3rd – M.Guillot, FRA (Milan Competition)
Race 2: 1st – A. Duenas, ESP (Milan Competition); 2nd – N. Milan; 3rd – M. Verschuur
Overall standings: 1st – N. Milan, 186 pts; 2nd – M. Verschuur, 114 pts; 3rd – M. Pedala, 63 pts

2012 World Series by Renault calendar*:

5-6 May: Motorland Aragon, Spain
26-27 May: Monaco (Formula Renault 3.5 Series only)
2-3 June: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
30 June-1 July: Nürburgring, Germany
14-15 July: Moscow, Russia**
24-25 August: TBC (Formula Renault 3.5 Series only)
15-16 September: Hungaroring, Hungary
29-30 September: Paul Ricard HTTT, France
20-21 October: Barcelona, Spain

  • Pending confirmation by the FIA
    • Pending approval by the FIA

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 13 October 2011
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