The 2017 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup season – the 12th in its history – is ready to be one of its best ever, with seven rounds at prestige tracks. The series, backed by Renault Sport, will once again be one of the top junior single seater formulae on the continent.
One of the calendar’s highlights is a maiden visit to Circuit Paul Ricard, new home of the French Formula One Grand Prix in 2018 The series will also return to the immensely popular Zandvoort, where a special family themed event in May will guarantee a huge crowd.
With grids peaking at 30 cars in 2016, the competition is high – any driver graduating at the top of the Northern European Cup can be counted among the best of their generation. Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Antonio Felix da Costa are all graduates of the NEC, while one of the top British prospects in racing, Lando Norris, claimed the crown last season. Identical machinery, in the shape of the Tatuus FR2.0/13 chassis and 210BHP two-litre Renault Sport engine, makes for intense, close competition.
Further incentives come with the support of Renault Sport, the French manufacturer provides incentives to NEC racers including a free entry to the 2018 Formula Renault Eurocup, with further prizes to be announced in due course.
The organisers of the series will present official test events, which will be announced in the near future.
The weekend format, successful in recent years remains largely unchanged and stands as follows: 2 free practice sessions, two qualifying sessions and two races per weekend, will give the drivers plenty of track time.
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC 2017 Calendar:
21-23 April: Spa-Francorchamps (TCR Benelux, Belcar)
19-21 May: Zandvoort (Family Days)
23-25 June: Monza (Clio Cup Italia, Boss GP)
4-6 August: Assen (Gamma Racing Days)
17-19 August: Circuit Paul Ricard (Creventic 24H Proto Series)
15-17 September: Nürburgring (SRO GT Sprint)
22-24 September: Hockenheim (ADAC GT Masters)
Jurgen Evers, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Series Co-ordinator:
“We’re very excited about the 2017 season. Formula Renault 2.0 NEC had a wonderful 2016, and I believe this year can be as good, if not better. The calendar is a point of pride for us – great tracks, and big crowds in Europe. Each location presents a different challenge, including vital career experience on grand prix tracks. There is hardly a better place for young drivers to develop their craft at an early stage in their career, with identical machinery and on a very reasonable budget.”
Tarik Ait Said, Renault Sport Racing Sporting Manager :
“We are very happy to support in 2017 a very interesting Formula Renault 2.0 NEC season. For many years this series has been a stepping-stone in single seater racing, and this year we believe it will prove to be very effective in supporting Renault Sport Racing’s single seater and driver detection strategy. It will no doubt be a must-do competition for all young drivers willing to step up to the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup the next season, potentially paving their path all the way to Formula 1 racing. “