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Category: Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup

New Zealand’s top young racing driver, Richie Stanaway (18) recently took part in the official end of season Formula Renault 2.0 test day on the Monday following the last round of the World Series by Renault at the well-known Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Richie was invited to the test after winning this year’s ADAC Formel Masters championship in Germany, and took part with Eurocup Championship-winning team, Koiranen Bros Motorsport.

Many drivers from all over the world were invited to the test, with the format featuring two 90 minute sessions. In the first session Richie finished third quickest, with the two quicker drivers having experience with the circuit or car beforehand. In the final session the drivers set times on a new tyre run, and Richie was sitting second quickest in the early part of the session before most of the other drivers did a second new tyre run at the very end of the session bumping Richie further down the order.

Reflecting on his test day, Stanaway says it was a great experience. “It was fantastic to drive the new style Formula Renault 2.0, especially on such an amazing venue as the Circuit de Catalunya. It was a very valuable experience for me as a driver”

Menasheh Idafar - SnettertonMenasheh Idafar underlined his burgeoning potential during officially timed Formula Renault UK Winter Championship testing at Snetterton in Norfolk today, Friday, 30th October, by concluding the outing an excellent fourth fastest on combined times.

In the last of today’s 40-minute sessions this afternoon, the 18-year-old produced a quickest lap of 1m04.631 seconds (108.72mph) on his final run to go second overall and the fastest of the Manor Competition drivers with around three minutes to go.

With team-mate David McDonald and fellow front-runner Harry Tincknell – 2009 Formula Renault UK Graduate Cup Winner – just edging ahead by fractions of a second at the finish though, Menasheh slipped to fourth fastest but the end result was still extremely impressive, just 0.270 seconds shy of the outright pace.

During this morning’s opening session, the Gulf Computer Services and Ortolan-backed driver was seventh on the timesheets with a time of 1m07.765 seconds (103.69mph). Then, in the second period, he improved to a superb third quickest, having been at the head of the times with just a few minutes remaining thanks to a lap of 1m05.151 seconds (107.85mph).

Happy with his performance today, Menasheh commented: “My fastest lap in the last session could have been better as I made a small mistake but I’m very happy to be in the top four, especially as we only used one set of new tyres at the end. The car is good and I’m really enjoying it, now I’m looking forward to the start of the Winter Championship tomorrow.”

Qualifying for the opening two races of the 2009 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship will take place at 09.30 tomorrow, Saturday, 31st October, at Snetterton with round one scheduled to get underway at approximately 10.50. The second 15-lap encounter will follow at around 13.30.

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs brought his 2009 racing campaign to a close in the final rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at Motorland Aragon at the weekend. The 18 year-old, fresh from a successful F3 test last week, went straight to Spain for the double-header event with the intention of taking fourth in the standings.

On arrival at the new circuit Adrian went straight into two free practice sessions in which the BRDC Rising was left disappointed by the pace. Despite winding up fourth quickest in the first session, his times were set on new tyres with his rivals on old, leaving the Motopark Academy team work to do before qualifying.

This they did to good effect however, the Tonbridge teenager bouncing back to form with the fourth fastest time in his group just over a tenth off pole. In the combined Superpole shootout to determine the grid for race one, Adrian against set the fourth fastest lap, two places ahead of his chief rival Miki Monras.

Saturday’s opening race proved largely uneventful for Adrian. A good start allowed him to hold position but by the end of the opening lap he’d dropped to seventh. With one eye on the whereabouts of Monras behind, Adrian drove a steady mid-part of the race concentrating on keeping a solid sixth place but as the race neared the end, the former double T-Cars champion upped his pace to stretch the gap to Monras.

In Sunday’s race two, Adrian again started from fourth, and the fraught race proved nail-biting right to the flag. With the championship title still very much at stake between three drivers, including Adrian’s team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa, team tactics were much in evidence over the course of the race.

But for Adrian, the battle for fourth was very much his target, entering the race on equal points with Monras. At the start, he had the advantage with a car in between them as the race progressed.

The battle for the race lead was fought out by six drivers, with the lead changing hands several times over the race distance. Throughout Adrian enjoyed a battle with Jean Eric Vergne, the pair swapping places several times.

On the penultimate lap, with his championship position secured, Adrian upped his pace to pass Kevin Magnussen and cross the line fourth, to give him that position in the points standings.

Adrian will now stay in Spain to take part in the official World Series by Renault tests which take place on Wednesday, when he will drive a Comtec Racing car.

MP Motorsport - Spa-FrancorchampsRace winning team MP Motorsport is delighted to confirm it will once again focus its participation in Eurocup Formula Renault and the Northern European Cup in 2010 having ordered three brand new cars from Renault Sport Technologies.

With Formula Renault championships across the world replacing the hugely successful FR 2.0 Tatuus chassis with the freshly designed Barrazi-Epsilon car from next year, MP Motorsport is already busy preparing for its introduction with an intensive winter testing programme throughout Europe.

The Dutch team has enjoyed good success in recent events with podium finishes at Germany’s Nurburgring and in the Formula Renault NEC race meeting at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Now, the Oudenbosch-based squad is keen to hear from interested drivers who would like to discuss testing opportunities and also the 2010 race programme in two of the continent’s most competitive one-make single-seater championships. Currently, MP Motorsport has lodged three entries for Eurocup and three more for the NEC.

“We’re very keen to hear from any drivers interested in testing with us in Europe over the winter months, we have an intensive programme in place with a lot of running planned in Spain and Portugal to take advantage of the warmer weather”, said MP Motorsport’s Sander Dorsman.

“It’s been a good season for MP Motorsport. We’ve had some great success with several podium finishes and now we’re looking forward to the last Eurocup race of the season in Spain at the end of the month before embarking on our winter testing schedule.”

Next on the calendar for MP motorsport is the final Eurocup Formula Renault race meeting of the season which will take place at Motorland Aragon in Spain over the weekend 24th/25th October.

To get in touch with the team regarding testing opportunities and race drives in 2010, please contact Sander Dorsman on 0031 (0) 6516 70158 or by email through sander@mpmotorsport.nl

Antonio Felix da CostaAntonio Felix da Costa was again in evidence this weekend at Le Mans on the competitive Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. The Portuguese driver got two podiums and expanded his advantage in the leadership of the Eurocup, having now 7 more points than the Frenchman Jean Eric Vergne, who is now second on the championship and 14 more points than the Spanish Albert Costa (ranked third).

After the third place achieved in the first race and with only two race meetings remaining to the end of the season, Felix da Costa knew he would have to attack strongly in the race in order to consolidate his leadership on the Eurocup: “Being fourth on the grid, and having my main opponents on the first row I knew that I had to attack and make them pressure”, said the young Portuguese driver with only 17 years old, which was a protagonist of an excellent start, moving immediately to third position, behind the Spanish Albert Costa: “I started to make pressure on Albert, forcing him to make a mistake which happened after some laps. After this I was quick but Vergne was already a bit far away and unfortunately it was too late to reach him, “continued Antonio Felix da Costa who made the fastest of the race and completed the second race in second position.

The results of this weekend allowed Antonio Félix da Costa to open the gap on the leadership of the European Championship: “I came to Le Mans with 4 points of advantage to Albert Costa and now I have 7 points to the second and 14 to the third. Together with my team Motopark and especially with my engineer Dennis Lawyer, we did an excellent work, which gave me a extremely competitive car. However, our weakness is still the qualifying and on both races starting 4th on the grid didn’t allows us to fight for the win. I am aware of that situation and we have to move at this point, “concluded driver managed by Sowhat Management.

The next race of the season for Antonio Felix da Costa is at Assen (Holland) – 7/8 Uugust for the NEC (North European Championship), where he is also leading. This year on both championships (Eurocup and NEC) Antonio achieved a total of 12 podiums in 16 races, 5 of them on the top of the podium. A brilliant performance from the 17 year old driver, which is closer to get both titles only on his second year of car racing.

Classification of Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 after Le Mans: 1st António Félix da Costa, 97 pontos; 2nd Jean Eric Vergne, 90 pts; 3rd Albert Costa, 83 pts….

Next race: Nurburgring – 19 & 20 September.

Adrian Quaife-HobbsRising British racer Adrian Quaife-Hobbs finished a fighting sixth in the second Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship race at Le Mans this weekend, despite falling foul of strict marshalling in qualifying which meant he started 15th and 14th respectively for the two races.

The 18 year-old had set a cracking pace in testing and, in his group qualifying on Saturday, easily progressed through to the Superpole shoot out. However he was adjudged to have cut the corner on one of his warm-up laps and subsequently penalised by deleting his fastest race lap. His first flying lap was aborted after coming across a yellow flag sector, his sector one time indicating he could have been in the top three.

On his next lap, Adrian posted the third quickest time, which was later deleted, leaving Adrian with no time to optimise the tyre grip.  Therefore with his tyres past their best, the BRDC Rising Star wound up with the 15th and 14th quickest times for the two races.

In the opening race Adrian made a good start to hold position but at the turn one chicane was swamped when many of his rivals bypassed it, dropping Adrian further down the field. A stirring drive allowed Adrian to move up through the order, 18th by the end of the opening lap, and thereafter he made up places to cross the line 14th.

Race two took place on Sunday and proved largely successful for the Tonbridge driver after a perfect start off the line allowed him to gain three places into the first corner. At the chicane, Adrian held the place and by the completion of the opening lap had gained another three places.

An incident on the opening lap required the safety car to be deployed, bunching up the pack, but at the restart allowed Adrian to entertain a fraught battle with Miki Monras for seventh.  The Spaniard vigorously defended Adrian’s advances, but two laps from home Adrian made a daring move round the outside at the chicane to move ahead and set after the three-way battle for third.

With just two laps remaining however, despite Adrian’s best efforts in closing the gap, he just missed out on fifth, crossing the line 0.06secs adrift.

“After a good start to the weekend it was very frustrating to come away with just sixth place however once again we underlined our pace right from the start. I ruined my chances in the race having to lose my quickest time as the tyres only really last a couple of laps and with the yellow flag and then losing third, it was always going to be a struggle.

“I’m not sure where I was supposed to have cut the corner which also meant I had to drive extra careful everywhere and wasn’t able to push as hard as I’d have liked.  Despite that I still posted the third quickest time which was pretty good.

“In the second race had the safety car not been out and wasted effectively six racing laps, my overtaking opportunities were also reduced otherwise I think I could have probably got onto the podium as I was in the battle for third place.”

Adrian’s next race will be at Assen in the Netherlands over the weekend of 8/9 August for the next rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup.

Results of race one – 17 laps
1 Jean Eric Vergne SG Formula 27:33.682
2 Albert Costa Epsilon Euskadi 27:34.089
3 Antonio Felix Da Costa Motopark Academy 27:36.265
4 Arthur Pic SG Formula 27:44.230
5 Miki Monras SG Formula 27:45.251
6 Nathanaël Berthon Epsilon Euskadi 27:45.427
14 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Motopark Academy 27:59.286

Results of race two – 15 laps
1 Jean Eric Vergne SG Formula 26:41.154
2 Antonio Felix Da Costa Motopark Academy 26:42.756
3 Kevin Magnussen Motopark Academy 26:47.226
4 Nathanaël Berthon Epsilon Euskadi 26:47.747
5 Ramez Azzam SG Formula 26:50.863
6 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Motopark Academy 26:50.972

Championship points after ten rounds: 1. Antonio Felix Da Costa 97, 2. Jean Eric Vergne 90, Albert Costa 83, 4. Miki Monras 65, 5. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs 58, 6. Nathanaël Berthon 52.

Antonio Felix da CostaOnly 3 rounds to the end of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 is what separates the title from Antonio Felix da Costa. The Motopark driver is leading the Championship and next weekend at Le Mans the goal is to open the gap to his rivals, and if possible repeat his brilliant win of the last race at Silverstone.

The 17 year old driver that is leading both Eurocup and NEC (North European Cup) Formula Reanult 2.0 Championships is optimistic and motivated for the next weekend: “On the last races we made really good improvements on the car, the team is strongly motivated, I got three wins in the last four races which make me feel together with my engineer really confident and motivated. My aim for this weekend is to win, but specially to open the gap to my rivals, in particular Albert Costa. To achieve this, qualifying is crucial and starting on pole would be a very important step to make it”, said the driver managed by Sowhat Management.

With only 3 weekends to the end of Eurocup, Antonio doesn’t think to much about that and concentrates on getting maximium points on each race: “If I would say that my ambition is not to win the Eurocup I would be lying, but there are still 6 races to go and a lot of things can happen, so I prefer to think race by race and do my best each time that I sit on my Renault”, commented the driver from Portugal.

Once again, the program of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, together with the World Series by Renault will start on Friday with the free practice sessions. On Saturday will take place both qualifying and first race of the weekend. The 2nd race will take place on Sunday.

adrian quaife-hobbsAdrian Quaife-Hobbs took his first Eurocup podium in round four of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship at Spa on Sunday and narrowly missed out on the double, finishing fourth in Saturday’s third round. The 18 year-old from Tonbridge started the event on a high, posting the second quickest time in the first test on Friday and fourth in the second.

As is normal at the Belgian circuit, heavy rain played its part in the outcome of the event, with severe flooding forcing the organisers to scrap the split qualifying which would determine the fastest 24 to go into the Superpole Shootout. Consequently, all 33 cars took to the track for the session which would dictate the grids for both races.

In that, the BRDC Rising Star was immediately on the pace, until a red flag thrown when Adrian was about to start his quick lap interrupted the session. At the restart, Adrian again set an impressive pace running second fastest until the closing minutes when he dropped to fifth. His second fastest time was good enough for a second row start for race two.

In Saturday’s opening round, a good start allowed the Sackville School pupil to retain his position and on lap two the former double T-Cars Champion moved into fourth when his Motopark Academy team-mate Kevin Magnussen dropped two places. Adrian went on to record fourth place at the flag.

In the second race, Adrian started from third and a great start allowed him to get the jump on Magnussen to move into second on the opening lap. Adrian held the position for four laps keeping pre-event championship leader Antonio Felix Da Costa at bay until lap five, crossing the line to take third and move him into fifth in the points standings.

“We went into the event full of confidence as we’d been very quick at Spa in the pre-season test,” said Adrian. “Testing went really well, we were quick in both sessions but in the qualifying it was hard to find a clear track with everyone out at the same time. Then when I’d put new tyres on and was going for a time, the red flag came out, so I lost time in the pits. Despite that I was happy with fifth and third quickest times although in future I need to look at getting a quicker first lap.

“In the first race, I was dicing for position with Vergne on the opening lap and on lap two he managed to get Magnussen and then I got past him but Vergne was quicker than me and although I caught him over the course of the race I couldn’t get past.

“In the second I slotted in behind Albert (Costa) and Kevin (Magnussen) went to the outside at the Esses and I managed to get in behind and take second. However the safety car came out which changed everything. I normally come on strong over the last few laps but after being slowed up for several laps, I wasn’t able to do that and da Costa got by a few laps later.

“I’m happy with a podium though, the Eurocup is very competitive so it’s a good result. We’re closing the gap all the time to Albert who does seem to have the edge. And over the five week break we’ll be pulling out all the stops to close that gap further.”

Results of race One – 12 laps
1. Albert Costa Epsilon Euskadi 28:00.641
2. Antonio Felix Da Costa Motopark Academy 28:03.666
3. Jean Eric Vergne SG Formula 28:06.614
4. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Motopark Academy 28:06.950
5. Kevin Magnussen Motopark Academy 28:08.456
6. Nigel Melker MP Motorsport 28:15.194

Results of race two – 11 laps
1. Albert Costa Epsilon Euskadi 27:31.983
2. Antonio Felix Da Costa Motopark Academy 27:33.232
3. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Motopark Academy 27:33.972
4. Kevin Magnussen Motopark Academy 27:36.531
5. Miki Monras SG Formula 27:38.739
6. Nathanaël Berthon Epsilon Euskadi 27:39.991

Championship points after four rounds: 1, Albert Costa 47, 2. Antonio Felix Da Costa 46, 3. Nathanaël Berthon 24, 4. Miki Monras 22, 5. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs 21, =6 Nico Muller & Jean Eric Vergne 13.

Adrian now enjoys a six week break before the next rounds of the Eurocup which take place at the Hungaroring circuit in Hungary over the weekend of June 13/14.

adrian quaife-hobbs

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs continues to set competitive times in the latest test ahead of the 2009 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and NEC Championships, the 18 year-old posting the second quickest time in Spa this week. With the schedule now confirmed for both championships, the early part of the year will see him on track nine consecutive weeks for racing or testing, which kicked off with two days Eurocup testing in Barcelona at the beginning of March.

The following week, the Tonbridge teenager continued his Eurocup running with two days at Le Mans and last week visited Spa-Francorchamps on Monday and the Nürburgring on Wednesday/ Thursday with the rest of the North European Cup runners. In each test Adrian, now running with reigning champions Motopark Academy, has been consistently amongst the front-runners.

“We’ve had a very successful series of tests so far, and have been consistently amongst the quickest out there,” said Adrian. “In Spa last week, I was quickest of the NEC runners by three tenths of a second and when we went to Germany, I was second just a tenth off the fastest time.

“We’re improving things all the time and that is reflected in the results. At Spa this week, the first day started off dry and so we planned to use our new tyres in the afternoon session. I wound up second quickest, although the fastest lap of the morning was on new tyres. Sadly it rained for the afternoon session so I didn’t get a chance to try on new rubber, but I’m confident I could have easily improved my time, as it was I was just two hundredths off the quickest time and that was posted on my last lap.

“The team is highly experienced being reigning champions in both championships which certainly bodes well for this year. I’ve established a good relationship with everyone in the team and I’m really looking forward to getting the season underway.

“The competition will be fierce again this season, and the testing has shown it’s pretty much all the same drivers vying for the top spot. But, with the technical knowledge of Motopark and the team’s experience in both Eurocup and North European Cup, I’m confident of immediately being up at the front and bidding for race wins and the title.”

Adrian resumes testing next week at Hockenheim on Monday prior to his first race of the year, the opening rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup which takes place at Zandvoort on April 13. The Eurocup opening rounds get underway a week later in Barcelona.

Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship 2009 calendar: Barcelona (SPA) April 18/19, Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) May 2/3, Hungaroring (HUN) June 13/14, Silverstone (UK) July 4/5, Le Mans (FRA) July 18/19, Nürburgring (GER) September 19/20, Motorland (SPA) October 24/25.

North European Cup 2009 calendar: Zandvoort (NL) April 12/13, Hockenheim (GER) April /25/26, Hungaroring (HUN) June 13/14, Oschersleben (GER) June 20/21, Assen (NL) August 8/9, Most (CZH) August 29/30, Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) October 3/4.

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs continued an intensive test programme in preparation for his assault on the 2009 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Championship and North European Cup, posting the second quickest time at Le Mans this week. The French test comes on the back of two days in Barcelona last week where the Sackville school pupil kicked off the programme which will see him on track for nine successive weeks.

The 18 year-old from Tonbridge contested his first season in Formula Renault last year, undoubtedly the most competitive single-seater series in Europe, and was immediately on the pace. The BRDC Rising Star took victory and several podium finishes during the season, going on to finish fourth in the Italia Cup and now joins reigning champions Motopark Academy for 2009.

Last weeks test in Spain was primarily a settling-in session in which the Kent youngster was acclimatising to the car, his first run of 2009. This week’s opening session at Le Mans was held on a wet track with Adrian in one of three groups. In each session, he was consistently in the top four and finished the day eighth overall from 30 runners.

“The Barcelona test was pretty much just a roll-out test as I’d been out of the car for a while. It was more a case of getting back into a good rhythm and re-establishing a good feel for the car ready for this weeks test. On the opening day at Le Mans it was wet and the times were pretty much dependent on which group you were in and the weather conditions at that time. However despite that I was happy to be consistently in the top four in each session and winding up eighth overall.”

On the second day the conditions improved and Adrian and Albert Costa spent much of the day trading places for the top spot, Adrian improving his times throughout the day to finish just a tenth shy of the fastest time. “Day two was dry and a far better indication of a driver’s performance. Right from the start myself and Costa were trading places but overall I’d say he was the quicker early on. We tried a few different set-ups throughout the day and I gradually improved and at the end was only a tenth away from Costa so I’m very happy.”

With the schedule now confirmed for both championships, the early part of the year will see the teenager undergo a hectic opening two months which continues with testing for the North European Cup at Spa-Francorchamps on Monday and the Nürburgring on Wednesday and Thursday.

Adrian will kick off his 2009 racing campaign with the opening rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup which takes place at Zandvoort on April 13 with the Eurocup opening rounds getting underway a week later in Barcelona.