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Eurocup Mégane Trophy

The line-up for the 2013 Eurocup Megane Trophy season is taking shape, with a little under a month to go before the one and only weekend of collective testing in the category (6-7 April), which takes place just three weeks before the season opener at Motorland Aragon. Joining some familiar faces on the grid will be a clutch of ambitious newcomers, with around 20 drivers in all battling it out to succeed 2012 champion Albert Costa.

Renault Sport Technologies knows a winning formula when it sees one and has made Eurocup Megane Trophy an even more appealing proposition for the 2013 season by offering prizes to drivers aged under 25.

Around 20 saloons will be contesting the seven meetings on the World Series by Renault calendar, the first of them coming at Motorland Aragon in Spain on 27-28 April. Equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine delivering 400bhp and boasting a streamlined, aggressive look, the Megane Trophy is sure to thrill the crowds and serve up some spectacular racing in what promises to be a high-quality championship.

The big question is, who will succeed Albert Costa as Eurocup Megane Trophy champion? We’ll have to wait to find out the answer, though there are no lack of pretenders among the old hands and young guns on the grid.

Reigning team champions Oregon Team scored seven wins in 14 races in 2012 and will be bringing both quality and quantity to the grid. Founded by Jerry Canevisio and Piergiorgio Testa, the Italian stable will be lining up with six cars in all. Third in last year’s Eurocup Megane Trophy standings, 21-year-old Kevin Gilardoni is likely to be the team’s spearhead, while rookie team-mates Enrico Bettera of Italy, Switzerland’s Davide Durante and Russian youngster Vladimir Lunkin will all be looking to pick up some valuable experience with their new employers.

Mike Verschuur makes his return to the category with his very own team. A devoted fan of the Megane Trophy, the Dutchman has his sights firmly set on reclaiming the title he won in 2009 and can count on the solid support of Jeroen Schothorst, who is preparing for his sixth season in the discipline. Also turning out for the Dutch stable is Max Braams, who made his World Series by Renault debut in 2011 in the Eurocup Clio. The youngest driver in the 2013 field, Max turns 20 the day before the opening race of the season.

One team who could well break into the Eurocup Megane Trophy elite this year is Gravity Charouz. The well-known Czech outfit has amassed a wealth of experience in international sprint and endurance competitions, and their presence will only add to the quality of this year’s championship. Driving for them will be Czech duo Jakub Knoll, who trained at the Formula Renault 2.0 academy and made his Megane Trophy debut at Paul Ricard late last season, and the 25-year-old Erik Janis, who knows his way around both single-seater and GT racing and should feature strongly.

AFK Motorsport will be present for the third year running, with Oliver Freymuth at the wheel, the German having already begun the year in fine style by finishing 15th in a Megane in the 24 Hours of Dubai.

Lompech have put their faith once more in 2012 Gentleman Drivers’ champion Jean-Charles Miginiac, teaming the Frenchman up with young Megane Trophy newcomer Steven Palette, while Algarve Pro Racing and Michael Munemann will be reprising their partnership of 2012, as are Pujolar Racing and Tony Forne.

Oregon Team, AKF Motorsport and Gravity Charouz are all expected to name more new signings in the next few days, adding even more appeal to a line-up that has plenty going for it already.

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 11 March 2013
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