Formula Renault NEC confirms exciting 2018 calendar

The Formula Renault Northern European Cup calendar for 2018 has been confirmed, with the championship continuing its commitment to developing the next generation of motorsport stars on a range of internationally renowned Formula 1 and Formula 3 venues.

The series – commonly regarded as an important stage on the path to professional motorsport – will break new ground in 2018 with the addition of the Circuit de Pau-Ville, increasing its appeal as one of only a few junior single-seater championships to offer a street race as part of the regular season.

A popular return to the Hungaroring, best known as the venue of the Hungarian Grand Prix since 1986, has also been confirmed, with drivers set to tackle the undulating, twisty 2.7 mile circuit in mid-June.

Circuit Zandvoort also returns to the schedule for the first time since 2013 as the season curtain-raiser, with a return to current events at the high-speed Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and Hockenheimring also confirmed, all of which are set to host their respective nations’ Grands Prix in 2018.

Meeting formats have been altered for next season in order to further strengthen the relationship between the NEC and the Formula Renault Eurocup, the natural next step for drivers wishing to forge a career in motorsport.

Weekends will now consist of two 30 minute practice sessions to open proceedings, before a single 15 minute qualifying session and 30 minute race are held on each day of the weekend.

Competitors will also have the opportunity to extend their experience and prepare for the next stages of their careers with the chance to compete in two rounds of the Formula Renault Eurocup championship as Wild Card entries.

The two championships run the same technical regulations centred around the 2.0 litre, Tatuus-manufactured Formula Renault car, a strategy devised to maximise drivers’ potential in the category and ensure a smooth progression for those looking to take the next step.

With past successes including Valtteri Bottas (Formula 1 – Mercedes), Carlos Sainz Jr (Renault Sport Formula One Team), Sebastian Buemi (Formula E Champion), Robijn Frijns, Antonio Felix da Costa, Daniil Kvyat and many more, the championship stands poised to mark a new chapter in history in the thirteenth year of its lifespan.

2016 NEC and Eurocup series winner Lando Norris was recently confirmed as McLaren’s official Test and Reserve Formula 1 Driver for next season after securing the FIA European F3 title.

Details of pre-season testing dates remain under negotiation and will be confirmed at a later date.

Drivers wishing to make contact with a vast number of the most technically accomplished, developed and successful junior single-seater teams in the world should head to the Teams’ directory on the official championship website, www.necup.com.

Jurgen Evers, Series Manager commented, “I’m very pleased with the calendar for the 2018 season and I believe we have one of the strongest single-seater schedules out there. With four of the circuits we visit set to host Formula 1 World Championship races in 2018, along with a return to Zandvoort which is well-suited to the characteristics of the Formula Renault car, the championship is in strong shape.

“We have the added benefit of racing at Pau, one of the world’s finest and most traditional street circuits, which is only a bonus for the package we offer to drivers looking to take the next step in their careers.

“I’d like to thank Renault for the continuous support they provide us, and we have a few interesting collaborative projects in the pipeline that will benefit competitors, details of which will be communicated at a later date.

“Overall, there is a very positive atmosphere surrounding the series at the moment and we expect to have our first drivers and teams ready to announce in the coming weeks.”

Tarik Ait Said, Renault Sport Racing Sporting Manager commented, “We are very happy to support Formula Renault NEC again for the 2018 season.

“For many years the series has been a stepping-stone in single seater racing and a must-do competition for all young drivers. It is also excellent preparation for those stepping up to the Formula Renault Eurocup the following season.

“Formula Renault NEC plays a big part in Renault Sport Racing’s single seater and driver detection strategy, and will do even more so in 2018.”