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Koiranen announce Alps lineup for 2013

by Valentin Khorounzhiy

Finnish squad Koiranen Motorsport have today announced four drivers that will compete for the team in the 2013 running of Formula Renault 2.0 Alps. Estonian Hans Villemi has been retained by the team, with Alex Bosak, Semen Evstigneev and Nikita Zlobin joining the roster.

Estonian Villemi, at 17, already has two seasons of FR2.0 with Koiranen behind his back, having made his debut in the category with the team in 2011. That year saw him take part in a full season of FR2.0 NEC, where he took eighth with a best finish of fifth, and a part-time run in the Eurocup, where he scored a single point. In 2012, Villemi contested both the Eurocup and the Alps series part-time after sustaining an injury early in the season, with no points in five races in the former and a best finish of fourth in the latter.

Bosak will also be returning to Alps, having contested the full season in the championship in 2012, which also happened to be his debut year in international single-seaters. The Polish driver didn’t score any points in his stint with One Racing and, making the move to Koiranen this year, will surely hope to improve upon that result.

For the Russian duo of Evstigneev and Zlobin, this will be the debut year in major FR2.0 categories. While Formula Renault as a category will be entirely new for Evstigneev, Zlobin (who is, interestingly enough, the son of former F1 test driver Sergei Zlobin) will graduate to Alps from Italian Formula Renault 2000. With the pair supported by SMP Bank, the Alps squad will run under the SMP Racing by Koiranen banner.

In 2012, Koiranen ran Patrick Kujala, Daniil Kvyat, Gustavo Lima and Stefan Wackerbauer full-time while also hiring Villemi, Esteban Ocon, Victor Franzoni and Saud Al Faisal for part-time appearances. Such a massive roster allowed the team to take second in the teams’ championship, losing out to Tech 1 Racing by a mere six points, while Kvyat went on to claim the drivers’ title.

Koiranen also confirmed their Eurocup lineup earlier today, consisting of Nyck de Vries, Guilherme Silva and Franzoni.