RE­WORKED RE­NAULT AT­TRACTS TEAMS

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - By Stephen Lick­o­r­ish Pho­tos: Re­nault Sport, Jakob Ebrey

Lead­ing sin­gle-seater teams Ar­den and MP Mo­tor­sport are con­sid­er­ing a move into the re­vamped Eurocup For­mula Re­nault next sea­son.

Both teams cur­rently com­pete in GP2 and FIA For­mula 4 se­ries and be­lieve the Eurocup could be a good step­ping stone for driv­ers.

Last month Re­nault Sport an­nounced that the cal­en­dar would in­crease from seven events to 10 in 2017, as well as there be­ing more races per week­end. The French man­u­fac­turer also pledged to fund the top two driv­ers in the standings in 2018 and make them Re­nault Sport Academy mem­bers.

The changes have proved at­trac­tive to Ar­den and MP with both se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing an en­try, once they’ve re­ceived ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about the se­ries from Re­nault.

Ar­den gen­eral man­ager Ju­lian Rouse said: “The changes make it look more in­ter­est­ing for us. The num­ber of rounds and races a week­end in­creas­ing is ap­peal­ing as it makes it a more sub­stan­tial pack­age for driv­ers as they wouldn’t have to look at other spin-off se­ries.

“It also fits in well with [Bri­tish] F4 for us and will have a lot more back­ing from Re­nault. That’s re­ally pos­i­tive and would make it a good en­vi­ron­ment for driv­ers.

“We’re still wait­ing for some in­for­ma­tion from Re­nault and once we get that by the end of Septem­ber we will make a fi­nal de­ci­sion.”

MP pre­vi­ously com­peted in the se­ries be­fore with­draw­ing at the end of last sea­son to con­cen­trate on its GP2 and SMP F4 pro­grammes. MP’S Tony Shaw added: “There is a pos­si­bil­ity we will re­turn but it de­pends on the driver mar­ket. “Re­nault is work­ing quite hard to give it a re­vamp and it’s a bril­liant lit­tle car and train­ing for­mula – it marks the good driv­ers out from the medi­ocre ones. “The cur­rent state of what we do is you step out of an F4 car into a GP2 car and we need to fill that void.” Ar­den has yet to de­cide whether it will re­main part of the For­mula V8 3.5 Se­ries af­ter the cat­e­gory has strug­gled this year fol­low­ing Re­nault’s with­drawal. Rouse said: “It’s too early to say. The 3.5 se­ries has al­ways been good for us and we like be­ing in­volved in it. Once we get all the in­for­ma­tion from Re­nault [about the Eurocup] we will sit down and look at the po­si­tion.” FV8 3.5 will fea­ture races on the World En­durance Cham­pi­onship sup­port bill in 2017.

Eurocup will ex­pand a lot next sea­son

Ju­lian Rouse

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