FR NEC cancelled as organiser slams FIA
The Formula Renault NEC series has been cancelled for 2019 with series organisers slamming FIA changes to the single-seater ladder.
The category, for two-litre-renault powered Tatuus cars, used to thrive alongside the Eurocup and ALPS series. It had a succession of illustrious champions including Formula 1 drivers Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris.
But in recent years it has struggled with desperately low grids after Renault decided to put its full weight behind the Eurocup, increasing its number of rounds and visiting more F1 tracks.
The category was set for a boost for 2019 with the Eurocup introducing a new Regional F3-spec car leaving the NEC as the sole series for the older Formula Renault machines.
However, that has not proved enough to save the series.
Its promoter, Mick de Haas, said: “We are very sorry to have to stop the series at this point. The ill-conceived FIA plans for the future of formula racing has meant that over the past three years we have seen a serious decline in the young drivers market. The costs are far too high for individual drivers and the market place is too fragmented.
“There is now no more room for a very effective and competitive single seater concept like Formula Renault 2.0. Yet it has helped many young drivers over the past two decades to the top.
“I would like to thank Renault and their suppliers, the teams that have competed in the NEC, the circuits and all the people that have worked with and for the NEC over the past 13 years.”
Grid numbers have dropped recently