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Category: Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS

Dennis OlsenTwo strong top ten placements in this weekend’s race at Imola in Italy bodes well for the upcoming season in Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup.

With three weeks left before the series begins, it was good for 17-year-old from Valer Østfold to be back on the track again to compete.

Through the sister series to the one he’ll run this year, he got a wild card and could line up for his new team, Prema Power Team.

Having qualified for the eighth position of 41 cars on both Friday and Saturday, it was a good starting point to go from.

In Saturday’s race Olsen quickly went up three places, and could smile at a good fifth place at the finish.

On Sunday he made a poor start and fell down to tenth, but managed to bring back the two places he lost before the finish.

A fifth and eighth place is the results after the first taste of competition this year.

Dennis Olsen is happy to finally be back in action again.

- It was a good start to the season before the Euro Cup and it was nice to know that I am well underway. I’m not entirely happy with the qualifying, but we got to the races pretty good. It’s okay to make small mistakes here, so I can do the best when it really matters, he says.

Olsen has ambitions to win the Euro Cup this year, and although a fifth and eighth place is strong, he is aiming higher.

- I wish I could have made the podium, but all in all it was a positive weekend. We’ve become stronger, both me and the team, and I feel secure in the racing situation. That is important to take with me into the first race in the Euro Cup, says Dennis Olsen

Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup starts April 25 to 27 at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

Photo by Prema Powerteam.

Prema PowerteamPrema Powerteam has been off to a sensational start in the opening weekend for the F.Renault ALPS Series at Vallelunga. The Italian-based squad, managed by Angelo Rosin, developed the new car’s 2013 upgrade package in perfect fashion after having made their way back to the Fast Lane Promotion championship in the closing part of last season.

Bruno Bonifacio scored the pole, then won Race 1 and was set to repeat but a deplorable maneuver by Nyck De Vries at Tornantino prevented him from doing so. And while the Brazilian gave proof of amazing strength, the whole team was overwhelmed by Antonio Fuoco’s performance. The Cosenza-based Ferrari Driver Academy man clocked the second fastest lap in qualifying before ending up Race 1 in second an scoring an outstanding win in Race 2.

Fuoco, who was behind De Vries and Bonifacio, inherited the lead and kept it all the way to the finish. Luca Ghiotto completed the Prema weekend at Vallelunga in perfect fashion. After scoring the 6th fastest lap of qualifying, he took rounded out the top-5 in Race 1 before finishing second in Race 2. Thanks to this weekend’s results, Fuoco is leading in the ALPS standings with 43 points, followed by Ghiotto (28). Bonifacio is fourth with 25 points.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal
“It’s been definitely an awesome start with us in the F.Renault ALPS, and it’s the second one after the great first round of the season in the FIA European F.3 Championship. At Vallelunga, all our drivers cruised to the podium, we hit the pole and two wins. I had predicted a positive start based on the great job done by the team and by Bonifacio, Fuoco and Ghiotto in testing, but the real thing surpassed even the brightest expectations. And although Bonifacio and Ghiotto were all but set for some top results, I’m astonished by what Fuoco was able to accomplish as a rookie throughout the weekend. I’m genuinely impressed”.

Bruno BonifacioThe F.Renault 2.0 ALPS Championship will be back underway this weekend at Vallelunga, and Prema Powerteam is aiming high at the Rome-bound racetrack by fielding three cars for Bruno Bonifacio, Antonio Fuoco and Luca Ghiotto. Both Bonifacio and Ghiotto will rely on a good amount of experience as they lined-up with Prema in last season’s F.Abarth series, while Fuoco, coming from the Ferrari Driver Academy, will be at his open-wheel debut. After having sampled the F.Renault environment last season, the Prema stable make their full-time return in a series that brought them sensational results between 2000 and 2008.

Good vibes have come throughout winter testing as the Prema drivers worked hard in the development of their new racecars. The Vallelunga weekend will take-off with the running of three, hour-long practice sessions on Friday, April the 6th at 9.30, 12.15 and 17.05. Qualifying will be held on Saturday at 10.15, followed by Race 1 at 17.00. Race 2 is scheduled for Sunday at 15:00.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal
“We’re heading towards Vallelunga and we’re happy to be back in the Renault camp and on a roster featuring almost 40 cars. We are always eager to find new challenges and this is clearly one of them. We will line-up against some great teams and their talented drivers, young men who will surely become very successful in motor racing in the future. We will line-up with Bonifacio and Ghiotto, and they both had the chance to try this championship in the latest stages of last season. They are top racers and they have all what it takes to deliver good results. The same goes for Fuoco. Despite the fact that he’ll be making his open-wheel debut, he already showed excellent skills in testing”.

Photo by Roberto Piccinini.

Bruno BonifacioBruno Bonifacio and Prema Powerteam will be back together in 2013. The 18-year-old Brazilian racer is set to join the Vicenza-based squad for this season’s Eurocup F.Renault and F.Renault ALPS series. A native of Sao Paulo, Bonifacio won the 2011 South American F.3 Light championship before ending up in third in last season’s Formula Abarth series. After having enjoyed a positive run with Angelo Rosin and his staff, he decided to continue a relationship that dates back to the second half of 2011. Bonifacio has the right potential to succeed in some high-quality championships like Eurocup and ALPS. His quick transition to Renault racing has emerged clearly in the latter stages of 2012, when he was lined-up in the last races of the Eurocup and in the Norther European NEC competition. The great results scored can be a perfect stepping stone for 2013.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal
“We are proud and cheered-up for relying on the services of a fast and consistent driver like Bonifacio in two demanding championships like Eurocup and ALPS. This Brazilian driver is hungry for some serious success and battle with some high-quality opponents in a very competitive environment. I’m sure that Bruno has all what it takes to stay at the top consistently, and that consistency will be key throughout the year…”

Bruno Bonifacio
“It’s gonna be an intense 2013 season as we’ll be facing two top-notch championships. This is the reason I decided to stay with Prema, an extremely competitive and professional team that work hard on every single detail. I’ll be at my second season with them after the fantastic 2012 experience in the F.Abarth Series. I look forward to hit the podium as frequently as possible, both in the Eurocup and in the ALPS championships, and enjoy the same positive feeling I experienced in the final few races of the F.Renault championships”

Gregor Ramsay and Vincenzo SospiriSixteen-year-old Scottish rising star Gregor Ramsay has been signed up by ex-international racing ace Vincenzo Sospiri to contest the Formula Renault ALPS Championship in 2013.

Ferrari protégé Ramsay took a race win at Vallelunga and a podium finish at Imola in his rookie Formula Abarth season this year. Just 15 years old when the season started, he finished a highly creditable eighth in the European Series. Now he will drive for Sospiri’s Euronova Racing team as it re-enters the Formula Renault category.

It comes after two tests, at Varano and Imola, in one of Euronova’s Formula Abarth machines, in which Gregor created a very favourable impression alongside the team’s newly-crowned Abarth champion, Brazilian Nicolas Costa.

“We are all looking forward to the new challenge and to already have Gregor on board is a great start,” said Sospiri. “So far he has been very impressive during testing. He hit all his targets regarding fast lap times and consistency, which is very important.

“I believe that Gregor and I will work together very well and that he will develop into an excellent racer capable of reaching the top. Based on what I have seen of him so far I have no doubt that he has the potential to be the next British motorsport star.”

The Formula Renault ALPS Championship attracts many of racing’s brightest young stars, competing at prestige Grand Prix circuits such as Monza in Italy, Spa in Belgium and Barcelona in Spain, as well as events in Austria and France.

“I’m very proud to be part of Euronova Racing,” said East Kilbride racer Ramsay. “I had my first tests with the team last week and they went really well. I was very comfortable in the car and the team were really good to work with.

“Vincenzo is an excellent driver coach and I have already learned a lot just from these two tests, so I’m really looking forward to next year. The Renault ALPS Championship is very competitive and we will be doing a lot of preparation over the winter in order to be at the front when the racing starts.”

As one of the leading young talents of his generation, Sospiri won the 1988 Formula Ford Festival and then the 1990 Formula Vauxhall Lotus title before moving into the international ranks. He became champion in Formula 3000 – the forerunner of today’s GP2 Series – in 1995 and graduated to Formula 1 with the short-lived Lola project in 1997. After racing in Indycars he switched to sportscar racing, driving for the factory Toyota team in the Le Mans 24 Hours and twice becoming an international sports-prototype champion before retiring at the end of the 1999 season.

In 2002 he set up Euronova Racing, and since then has run future racing stars such as Formula 1 racers Robert Kubica, Vitaly Petrov and Jerome d’Ambrosio, and GP2 talent Luca Filippi.

Ramsay, who is backed by Clyde Blowers as well as Europe’s biggest-ever lottery winners Colin and Chris Weir, will head off to the Ferrari Driver Academy, overseen by former F1 team chief engineer Luca Baldisserri, for more focus on his development as a driver. He will also continue testing with Euronova until mid-December, and will relocate from Scotland to the Sospiri family home in Italy, where he will continue his education and learn Italian and German.

The Formula Renault category will be boosted by the introduction of an exciting new Tatuus-built chassis in 2013, further cementing its position as the strongest and most competitive junior single-seater category in Europe.

Bruno BonifacioThe comeback of Prema Powerteam in F.Renault racing has been more than positive, beyond any early expectation, as the Italian squad lined-up in the recent round of the F.Renault ALPS Championship. “Honestly I didn’t think we could be so competitive right at the start – said Team Principal Angelo Rosin – the guys did a phenomena job and even though we still don’t have a deep knowledge of the car, we stayed in the top-10 after having started from the first two rows. Definitely not bad considering that there were 31 cars on the roster, including some teams at top Eurocup levels, and that we haven’t run with this cars since 2010. Our drivers Bonifacio and Ghiotto had the advantage of a good knowledge of Mugello, but their rivals already knew how to push the car to trhe limit and take full advantage from the tires’ performance. That’s what Luca and Bruno are currently starting to do”.

In qualifying, things started great as Bonifacio took 2nd place and Ghiotto ended up in 4th. At the start of Race 1 though, they did not take-off perfectly and couldn’t hold their point. Bonifacio tried to go for third with a move on Chatin, but spun and was forced to retire. Ghiotto put together a solid drive and finished in 6th. In Race 2, they started from 3rd and 4th respectively and this time they started with no hesitations. By the end of lap 2 they were rounding out the top-5. While the Brazilian stayed in 4th until checkered, the Italian repeated the 6th place scored in Race 1 after having been passed by Kujala. Prema will be back on-track next weekend with the same driving combo, lining-up for the F.Renault 2.0 North European Cup at Spa-Francorchamps.

Prema PowerteamIn just a few hours, Prema Powerteam will be making their official return in Formula Renault 2.0 racing. The team, managed by Angelo Rosin, has been involved in the 2012 European Formula 3, Italian Formula 3 and Formula Abarth championships, and is now looking forward to the final part of the season as a prelude of a full-time 2013 commitment.

Prema will take part in the penultimate round of the F.Renault ALPS, lining-up two cars for 2012 Abarth runners Bruno Bonifacio and Luca Ghiotto. The team will then be back on-track at Spa-Francorchamps on the 13th and 14th of October for the F.Renault NEC, before rejoining the ALPS Series in the closing round of the season at Montmelò, Barcelona.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal
“We can definitely say that we never stop. We just completed the F.Abarth season and we’re ready for a new challenge in the F.Renault ALPS. We’re curious to see how we will merge in this series as we’ll be racing alongside some top-notch operation, at the same level of the Eurocup. It’s going to be a great challenge. We’re ready to put on-track our professionalism and determination.”