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Formula Renault 2.0

There is precious little to choose between Belgium’s Stoffel Vandoorne (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Russia’s Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Motorsport) at the top of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 standings. The two have been swapping the championship lead since the Nürburgring, and with just four races left this season, only 11 points separate the Belgian from the second-placed Russian. .

Stoffel Vandoorne and Daniil Kvyat have been keeping each other in their sights nearly all season. The two have been taking turns at the top of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 leaderboard since the third meeting of the year in Germany, where the Belgian converted a 17-point deficit into a 13-point lead thanks to two wins from pole.

With a double of his own on home ground a few weeks later, the Russian regained the initiative, albeit by a single point, a slender advantage that his opponent overturned by winning Race 1 at the Hungaroring. Forced to retire on that occasion, Daniil Kvyat, a Red Bull Junior Team driver, hit back immediately to take Race 2, with Stoffel Vandoorne, the RACB National Team man, finishing fourth.

However, that left Stoffel Vandoorne 11 points to the good, reward for his consistency in a season in which he has never finished outside the top four, just the type of form his rival will need to produce in the closing four races if he is to snatch the title. A winner six times already this year, the only occasions on which he has finished on the podium, the Russian has paid dearly for two scoreless races. Predicting a winner at Paul Ricard will be no easy task, therefore, especially with the two having shared the honours in pre-season testing at the French track, Stoffel Vandoorne dominating day one and Daniil Kvyat day two.

The season’s only other race winner is Norman Nato, who lies well off the pace in third overall and faces a battle for that position from Nyck de Vries (R-ace GP). The 17-year-old Dutch driver, a two-time karting world champion, has impressed in his first season in a single-seater and is aiming to give his French team its maiden Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 win on home soil.

Eight other Frenchmen are hoping to shine in Le Castellet, not least Paul-Loup Chatin (Tech 1 Racing). The winner of the only Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race at Paul Ricard last season, the Tech 1 Racing man is anxious to retrieve something from a season in which he has finished on the podium just the once. Likewise, Pierre Gasly (R-ace Grand Prix) has a solitary top-three placing to his name but cannot be discounted for a win, while Esteban Ocon (Koiranen Motorsport), Andrea Pizzitola (R-ace GP), Matthieu Vaxiviere (Tech 1 Racing), William Vermont (Arta Engineering) and Leo Roussel (Arta Engineering) would all welcome a podium finish. Last but not least, Aurelien Panis (RC Formula), the son of ex-Formula One driver Olivier Panis, is set to continue his apprenticeship in what will be his second Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 meeting.

Finally, as announced in June by Renault Sport Technologies, the Formula Renault 2.0 will next season be equipped with a new aerodynamic kit and new carbon components. Developed in collaboration with Tatuus, the revamped version of the car will be unveiled to drivers and race-goers alike at the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC meeting at Zandvoort on 22-23 September, and will then get its first run-out at the final World Series by Renault event of the year in Barcelona.

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 21 September 2012
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