Preview: FR NEC title fight finely poised ahead of Hockenheim finale

A total of six drivers arrive at the world-famous Hockenheim circuit this weekend as the Formula Renault Northern European Cup (NEC) stages an action-packed double-header to round out the 2017 season.

R-Ace GP duo Gilles Magnus and Michael Benyahia currently top the standings a mere five points apart. Magnus seized the initiative at Spa-Francorchamps after recovering from a heavy crash at Eau Rogue in the second race to win the final contest, but Benyahia’s consistency makes him a potent threat this weekend.

BM Racing Team’s Bartek Mirecki sits within touching distance of the pair ahead should they encounter any misfortune, as does Théo Coicaud (R-Ace GP), who took his maiden podium finish in the Ardennes Forest a fortnight ago.
Tech1 racer and Formula Renault Eurocup front-runner Gabriel Aubry also stands a mathematical chance of being crowned champion, as does the final R-Ace GP entry of Charles Milesi, now a race-winner in the category after Spa.

The championship – commonly regarded as an established step on the ladder for Formula 1 and professional motorsport – is also set to welcome a host of exciting talents from the junior single-seater scene as the curtain draws on another closely-fought campaign.

Sacha Fenestraz will look to emulate his double victory from the Nurburgring last month, with Red Bull-backed Richard Verschoor and Jarno Opmeer (both MP Motorsport) keen to also secure repeat successes from earlier in the campaign.

Josef Kauffmann Racing’s trio of entries is completed by Ye Yifei, another podium finisher from earlier this season, along with James Pull.

Arden will contest the meeting with British Formula 4 Championship contender Oscar Piastri and behind the wheel alongside Alex Vartanyan, whilst Andreas Estner will mark Anders Motorsport’s hotly-anticipated foray into the series.

Logan Sargeant, also a British F4 Championship contender, will join up with the R-Ace GP outfit to make his series debut.

Thomas Neubauer (Tech1) will look to continue his push in the closely-fought midfield battle.