Formula Renault NEC bites the dust
FORMULA RENAULT NEC
European single-seater racing suffered a notable casualty just before Christmas when the Formula Renault Northern European Cup threw in the towel – and the series promoter pinned the blame on the FIA.
“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,” said Mick de Haas. “The costs are far too high for individual drivers and the marketplace is too fragmented. There is now no more room for a very effective and competitive singleseater concept like Formula Renault 2.0.”
The series was born in 2006 as a merger of the German and Dutch national series, and it also mopped up the UK teams when their championship died six years later. When Renault Sport upped its Eurocup from seven rounds to 10 in ’17, FR NEC suffered as those who had contested dual campaigns focused on Eurocup only. NEC limped on in ’18 at Renault Sport’s request, with the French giant hoping that the Eurocup’s switch to Regional F3 cars for ’19 would provide a new home for those continuing with older Frenault 2.0 machinery.
A lot of talent emerged from the series. Valtteri Bottas, the 2008 champion, holds the all-time wins record. The best winning percentage belongs to ’07 king and future GT star Frank Kechele, whose single-seater career was then derailed by Crohn’s disease.