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Catalunya

The eighth season of World Series by Renault reached an epic climax at Catalunya, with each of the four championships being decided in the final race. Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Sebastien Buemi were in Barcelona along with 59,000 fans to see Robin Frijns crowned Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion, Stoffel Vandoorne prevail in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Albert Costa take the Eurocup Megane Trophy honours and Oscar Nogues seize the Eurocup Clio title. Also catching the eye was Antonio Felix da Costa, who recorded a fine double in FR 3.5 Series.

Patrice Ratti, Managing Director Renault Sport Technologies: “In the space of eight seasons World Series by Renault has become a permanent fixture on the sporting calendar and a major event attracting tens of thousands of families to each meeting. This year we have raised the bar. We have gone from very good to excellent in every area. The quality of the line-ups in each category and our commitment to sporting and technical equality meant that every one of the four championships was decided in the very last race. My congratulations to Robin Frijns, who won the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title last year and has gone on to become Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion a year later, something no one else has ever done. Congratulations too to Jules Bianchi, this year’s FR 3.5 Series runner-up. Along with Sam Bird, Antonio Felix da Costa and all the other brilliant drivers, they have given us a magnificent season. Our warmest congratulations also go to Stoffel Vandoorne, a winner in Eurocup F4 1.6 in 2010; to Albert Costa, who also took the 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0; and to Oscar Nogues. My thanks to everyone. 2012 has been a fantastic season and roll on 2013, with a great schedule, a revamped version of the Formula Renault 2.0 and the arrival of the new Clio Cup.”

Formula Renault 3.5 Series: Champion Frijns sets sights on Formula One
The weekend began with Jules Bianchi, Robin Frijns and Sam Bird all in title contention, though it was Antonio Felix da Costa who stole the limelight on the track by winning both races to become the most successful racer of the season with four wins in all. In the meantime, it was Robin Frijns who made off with the title following an incident-packed deciding race. “As for the race, Jules Bianchi overtook me and I did everything I could to repass him as quickly as possible,” explained the Dutchman afterwards. “There was contact between the two of us, and I just thought it was your average racing incident. I’ve won three titles in a row now, after Formula BMW Europe in 2010 and Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 last year. We’ve got here thanks to the fantastic work we’ve done with Fortec Motorsports since the winter tests. My objective now is Formula One, starting with the tests with Red Bull Racing and Sauber. Nothing gets given to you in this world and nothing is easy, even when you win three titles on the bounce. We’re working on it though.”

Race 1: 1. A. Felix da Costa, POR (Arden Caterham); 2. S. Bird, GBR (ISR); 3. R. Frijns, NED (Fortec Motorsports)
Race 2: 1. A. Felix da Costa; 2. M. Aleshin, RUS (Team RFR); 3. A. Vainio, FIN (Team RFR)
Overall standings: 1. R. Frijns, 189 pts; 2. J. Bianchi, 185; 3. S. Bird, 179

Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0: Agony then ecstasy for champion Vandoorne
Oscar Tunjo scored his first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 win on Saturday, while Stoffel Vandoorne took second ahead of title rival Daniil Kvyat to extend his points lead slightly, leaving the title to be decided on a thrilling final day that produced as much suspense as a Hitchcock thriller. The weather played a hand first of all, as a shower doused the track just before race start. Opting for wets, Daniil Kvyat got off to a flier, while Stoffel Vandoorne’s race ended in the gravel trap. To the Belgian’s relief, however, the track dried and the men on slicks took control, his Russian rival sliding down the pack as Oliver Rowland took the race win, leaving Vandoorne the champion. “This title is an important achievement for my career, after my F4 Eurocup 1.6 win in 2010,” said the RACB National Team racer. “Thanks to the €500,000 award, my goal for next year is to drive in Formula Renault 3.5 Series.”

Race 1: 1. O. Tunjo, COL (Tech 1 Racing); 2. S. Vandoorne, BEL (Josef Kaufmann Racing); 3. D. Kvyat, RUS (Koiranen Motorsport)
Race 2: 1. O. Rowland, GBR (Fortec Motorsports); 2. W. Vermont, FRA (Arta Engineering); 3. F. Fraga, BRA (Tech 1 Racing)
Overall standings: 1. S. Vandoorne, 244 pts; 2. D. Kvyat, 234; 3. O. Rowland, 109

Eurocup Megane Trophy: Title joy for rookie Costa
Albert Costa’s retirement from Race 1, coupled with Bas Schothorst’s sixth win of the season, meant the Dutchman regained the points lead ahead of the last race. That left Albert Costa needing to win on Sunday and then hope for his team-mates to get between him and the championship leader. Oregon Team got their strategy just right as the Spaniard took the chequered flag, with Kevin Gilardoni and Niccolo Nalio ensuring that Bas Schothorst could only finish fourth, not high enough to prevent Albert Costa from winning the crown in his first season in the category, a fine achievement to go with his 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 triumph. Thanks to an agreement between Renault Sport Technologies, Oregon Team and International Draco Racing, the Barcelona driver was rewarded with a day’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series testing. Afterwards he had this to say: “It’s a special day and a release too. I won the last race of the season in Formula Renault 3.5 Series last year and then I found myself without a drive. Fortunately Oregon Team came along and helped me out, so my thanks to them. Now I need to get a good programme in place for 2013.”

Race 1: 1. B. Schothorst, NED (TDS Racing); 2. W. Beelen, NED (TDS Racing); 3. T. Bossy, FRA (Team Lompech Sport)
Race 2: 1. A. Costa, ESP (Oregon Team); 2. K. Gilardoni, ITA (Oregon Team); 3. N. Nalio, ITA (Oregon Team)
Overall standings: 1. A. Costa, 251 pts; 2. B. Schothorst, 247; 3. K. Gilardoni, 160

Eurocup Clio: Nogues celebrates on home turf
Oscar Nogues scored a masterful third and final win of the season on Saturday to move to the top of the standings. Sunday’s rain spiced up the last race of the campaign, in which the Spaniard adopted the same strategy as title foes Marc Guillot and Mike Verschuur by going out on wets. The race win went to Christian Ricciarini, his first, while none of the top three scored, sealing the title for Oscar Nogues. “It’s great for me but first and foremost it’s a massive achievement for Rangoni Motorsport,” said the champion driver of 2012. “I need to focus on the Clio Cup Spain before I can start thinking about next year. The best thing to do would be to race in Eurocup Clio again because the new car looks really good.”

Race 1: 1. O. Nogues, ESP (Rangoni Motorsport); 2. J. Palomeras, ESP (Milan Competition); 3. M. Guillot, FRA (Milan Competition)
Race 2: 1. C. Ricciarini, ITA (Composit Motorsport); 2. A. Villanueva, ESP (Dale Gas); 3. R. Villanueva, ESP (Milan Competition)
Overall standings: 1. O. Nogues, 115 pts; 2. M. Guillot, 106; 3. M. Verschuur, 91

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 24 October 2012
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