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Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 grid takes shape

by Valentin Khorounzhiy

Photo: Renault Sport/DPPI

World Series by Renault organisers have released a provisional entry list for the coming Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season ahead of the first test session of the year at Motorland Aragon this Sunday.

Mikko Pakari and Ed Jones will continue with Fortec for a second season alongside NEC champion Jake Dennis. 17-year-old Finn Pakari finished 15th in the standings last year with one podium at Hungaroring, in what was his first season out of karting. 18-year-old UAE youngster Jones will continue his collaboration with Fortec, after finishing fourth in InterSteps in 2011 and being picked up by them for FR2.0. He struggled in the Eurocup last year, achieving only two points. In addition, he made a successful debut in F3 Open with Team West-Tec, scoring a podium finish in the final race of the season and signing up with that team for 2013. This will mean that Jones will have to manage two campaigns at the same time, with two date clashes between the Eurocup and the F3 Open.

Interwetten Racing meanwhile have signed Mexican Alejandro Abogado as their first driver for the campaign, with Russian Konstantin Tereschenko reportedly joining him at the Austrian squad. Both drivers will be stepping up from the Alps series, where they both failed to score last year.

KTR have signed Lotus Junior Team driver Alex Albon and will retain Ignazio D’Agosto and Yu Kanamaru. Albon, 16, made his step-up from karting to single-seaters in 2012, joining EPIC Racing in the Eurocup and FR2.0 Alps as well as becoming a part of the Red Bull Junior Team. The full-time Eurocup campaign did not yield much in the way of results and, while Albon scored some points in Alps, he was dropped by Red Bull at the end of the year, but picked up by Lotus in the beginning of 2013.

Kanamaru, 18, also graduated from karting in 2012, joining KTR in the Eurocup and the NEC series and, while he also failed to score in the former, he achieved a surprise victory in the latter at the season finale at Spa.

Another 2012 karting graduate, D’Agosto also joined KTR in the Eurocup and FR2.0 NEC, scoring points in both in a reasonable but unremarkable 2012 campaign. He did, however, impress many with his appearance during the last two rounds of the 2013 Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand, where he was on-pace with some of F3’s most promising drivers and managed to snatch a podium finish.

The final news from the entry list is that Andrea Pizzitola is the final driver for the renamed ART Junior Team (previously R-ace GP), joining the previously confirmed Alex Baron and Esteban Ocon. Pizzitola made a very impressive start to his junior single-seater career in 2011, when he finished second in the French F4 championship, picking up 13 points along the way and losing out only to Matthieu Vaxiviere.

In 2012, Pizzitola became the member of FFSA’s junior team and joined R-ace GP for a campaign in the Eurocup and in the NEC series. He was only 21st in the Eurocup by the end of the year, achieving one shock pole position throughout the full campaign, but made up for it in his part-time appearances in the NEC series, where Pizzitola took four podiums in twelve races.

List of entrants
Arta Engineering (FRA)
William Vermont (FRA)/Leo Roussel (FRA)/Simon Tirman (FRA)

Fortec Motorsport (GBR)
Jake Dennis (GBR)/Mikko Pakkari (FIN)/Ed Jones (UAE)

Interwetten Racing (AUT)
Alejandro Abogado (MEX)/TBA

Jenzer Motorsport (SUI)

Kaufmann Racing (GER)
Oscar Tunjo (COL)/Gustav Malja (SWE)/ Steijn Schothorst (NED)

Koiranen Bros (FIN)
Nyck de Vries (NED)/Guilherme Silva (BRA)/Victor Franzoni (BRA)

Yu Kanamaru (JAP)/Ignazio D?Agosto (ITA)/Alex Albon (THA)

MP Motorsport (NED)
Oliver Rowland (GBR)/TBA

Prema Powerteam (ITA)
Luca GHIOTO (ITA)/Bruno Bonifacio (BRA)/TBA

ART Junior Team (FRA)
Esteban OCON (FRA)/Alex Baron (FRA)/Andrea Pizzitola (FRA)

RC Formula (LUX)
Aurelien Panis (FRA)/TBA

Tech 1 Racing (FRA)
Pierre Gasly (FRA)/Matthieu Vaxiviere (FRA)/Egor Orudzhev (RUS)

2013 collective testing schedule
24-25 February: Motorland Aragon (Spain)
5-6 March: Paul Ricard (France)
16-17 March: Circuit de Catalunya (Spain)
26-27 March: Red Bull Ring (Austria)