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Formula Renault NEC takes over Pau GP support slot in 2018

by Ida Wood

Photo: Antonin Vincent/DPPI

The Formula Renault Northern European Cup will race on the streets of Pau in 2018, taking over from the Eurocup on the undercard to the Formula 3 Grand Prix.

The Eurocup raced in Pau this year, picking up where the now-defunct Formula Renault Alps left off in 2015, but left the French city out of its calendar for next season, which consists entirely of Formula 1-specification circuits.

Pau will be the second round on the 2018 NEC calendar, with Zandvoort hosting the season-opening round.

The Dutch track last appeared in the championship in 2013, and replaces Assen as the traditional Dutch round on the calendar.

The Hungaroring also returns after a one year absence, with Monza, Spa-Francorchamps and Hockenheim remaining from the 2017 calendar.

The Spa round was run within the Eurocup triple-header this season with combined grids, but next year will be held as two separate races two months after the Eurocup’s new position as a Spa 24 Hours support.

“I?m very pleased with the calendar for the 2018 season and I believe we have one of the strongest single-seater schedules out there,” said series manager Jurgen Evers.

“With four of the circuits we visit set to host Formula 1 races in 2018, along with a return to Zandvoort which is well-suited to the characteristics of the Formula Renault car, the championship is in strong shape.

“We have the added benefit of racing at Pau, one of the world?s finest and most traditional street circuits, which is only a bonus for the package we offer to drivers looking to take the next step in their careers.”

There had been rumours of Silverstone hosting a round, but with the Eurocup set to visit anyway, NEC drivers will still have the opportunity to race there thanks to the two wildcard entries to the sister championship they are allocated.

The expansion of the Eurocup to 10 rounds led the NEC to only have five full-season entries this year – four of them run by R-ace GP.

The championship expects the first few 2018 entries to be announced in the coming weeks, with several “collaborative projects” between Renault Sport and the NEC also in the pipeline for next season.

2018 FR2.0 NEC Calendar
27-29 April: Zandvoort, The Netherlands
11-13 May: Pau, France
15-17 June: Hungaroring, Hungary
29 June – 1 July: Monza, Italy
28-30 September: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
5-7 October: Hockenheim, Germany