Formula Renault Eurocup outfit Tech1 Racing will field four cars in the opening two rounds of the 2018 Formula Renault Northern European Cup.
The season opener, held on the streets at Pau over 11-13 May, will give their drivers a rare opportunity to hone their street racing skills ahead of a support slot for the Eurocup at the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix a fortnight later.
Competing at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza to dust off the cobwebs after the Eurocup’s in-season break will also give the successful French outfit a chance to repeat their double victory at the Italian amphitheatre of speed in the hands of now-GP3 Series and LMP3 racer Gabriel Aubry in 2017.
Red Bull Junior Team member Neil Verhagen will partner Alexsandr Smolyar, Thomas Neubauer and Frank Bird in the distinctive red and black quartet.
For Verhagen, the trip to Pau marks his third participation in the series’ after a race-winning debut at Assen last summer and another strong set of performances at the Hockenheimring finale.
Smolyar will make his debut in the established 2.0 litre Formula Renault machine as the Eurocup gets underway at Circuit Paul Ricard in France this weekend [14-15 April].
Neubauer and Bird are no strangers to the championship either and, with a healthy grid starting to form for the curtain-raiser, predicting a winner is becoming ever more difficult.
More of the continent’s leading single-seater teams are expected to announce their plans in the coming weeks.
After Pau, the championship takes in further standalone events at Monza and Hockenheimring along with three shared events at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Nurburgring and Hungaroring alongside the Eurocup.
Olivier Maernhout, Tech1 Racing said, “We’re very happy to be joining the NEC at some of their events again this season, as last year it proved the perfect addition to our driver programme in the Formula Renault Eurocup.
“The championship always provides good racing, which makes it the perfect training ground.
“We’re very excited to go back to Pau, it’s a kind of home race for us and it will be an interesting place to prepare for the Monaco rounds of the Eurocup. Then we’ll head to Monza in June where we won both races in 2017, so our drivers can get back to business after the break. We’re looking forward to being back!”