The Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup heads to the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. Races seven and eight at the prestigious Belgian Grand Prix venue mark this season’s halfway point. Belgian Max Defourny (R-ace GP) is one of the title contenders and tries to repeat his last year’s victory on home soil. 30 cars line up on the grid, making it the biggest field of the season so far. Both races alongside the traditional Spa 24 hour race are shown live on www.formularenault.tv.
Max Defourny will be in the centre of attention. Currently third in the championship, the 17-year-old from Liege has firm title chances. Max says: “It’s always a nice feeling to race in front of your home crowds and with Spa being my favorite track, it is even nicer. But we will approach the weekend as we always do.”
Defourny has already proofed to be quick at his home circuit. Last year, he took his maiden Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup victory at Spa-Francorchamps. With his victory at the longest track of the calendar, Max followed his father’s footsteps. Didier Defourny won the 24 Hours of Spa in 2000, which was the last edition to be held with touring cars.
FOUR DIFFERENT WINNERS IN SIX RACES
With four different race winner so far and the top five in the championship separated by 25 points, Defourny is up against strong opponents. Taking his first win at the last round in Hungary moved Force India protégée Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing) into the championship lead. Only five points behind is French Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing). A further four points down is Max Defourny, who already has two victories to his name. Same for Briton Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing), who follows in fourth place and also leads the Rookie class for the under 18-year-old drivers.
Other challengers could be Vasily Romanov, Ferdinand Habsburg (both Fortec Motorsports), and Robert Shwartzman (Josef Kaufmann Racing), who all took their first podiums at the Hungaroring. Swiss Hugo de Sadeleer (Tech 1 Racing) and Poland’s Bartłomiej Mirecki (BM Racing Team) missed the podium at the Hungaroring. Still, both realised their best results so far with fourth place each.
SECOND BELGIAN DRIVER ALONGSIDE RETURNEES AND NEWCOMERS
With Ghislain Cordeel (JD Motorsport), a second Belgian joins the field for the first time this weekend. Two weeks ago, the 17-year-old made his debut in the TCR Benelux at Zandvoort.
Formula Motorsport is new to the championship as well. The French team enters three French drivers, Thomas Neubauer, Nicolas Melin, and Philippe Haezebrouck. Team and drivers usually compete in the French VdeV championship. Haezebrouck is also a known gentleman driver in GT endurance racing. Being 61 years old, Haezebrouck will be the oldest driver of the field.
Eurocup regular Cram Motorsport from Italy comes to Spa with Antoni Ptak. The 19-year-old Polish claimed his first Euroformula Open victory at Silverstone last week.
Italian gentleman driver Pietro Peccenini (TS Corse) joins for the first time this year after having made his championship debut at the 2015 Spa-Francorchamps round.
RACES TAKE PLACE ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
With the Total 24 Hours of Spa starting on Saturday afternoon, the first race is already scheduled for Friday afternoon and the second one for Saturday morning. Both races are shown live and worldwide with English commentary on www.formularenault.tv.