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Russell and Tang set to move teams ahead of Alps opener

by Peter Allen
George Russell

Photo: Florent Gooden/DPPI

George Russell and Andrew Tang are both set to change teams for the Formula Renault Alps season, which begins at Imola this weekend.

Karting graduate Russell had been due to race for Prema Powerteam, but appeared for Koiranen in the Eurocup test at Jerez last week and topped the timesheets in the final session.

The Briton’s management confirmed to PaddockScout last weekend that he will compete for Koiranen rather than Prema in the Alps series, but preferred not to comment on the reasons behind the switch. They did state however that there are “absolutely no problems” between them and the Italian squad.

Russell’s place at Prema looks set to be taken by Toyota Racing Series champion Tang, according to an entry list released onto the championship’s website.

Tang had previously been set to continue with Jenzer for his second Alps campaign, but turned out for Prema in testing last week. He had been seeking a deference to his Singaporean national service in order to race this season, and has not yet confirmed his deal with Prema, who won every Alps race in 2013.

A number of other details have arisen on the entry list. Russian driver Semen Evstigneev will line up for BVM Racing alongside Dario Capitanio, after racing for Koiranen in 2013.

Ex-Formula Two runner-up Matheo Tuscher is to compete for China BRT by JCS – the former Interwetten team – alongside Sun Zheng, who won the British F3 National Class last year.

New Caterham F1 academy recruit Seb Morris will dovetail his NEC programme with Fortec with entries into Alps with the same team, joining the previously-announced Martin Kodric, Charles Leclerc and Thiago Vivacqua.

Fortec, Tech 1 and Prema have all entered their Eurocup driver trios as wildcards alongside their full-time Alps cars. Koiranen have entered two cars as wildcards with drivers to-be-announced. Their lead Eurocup driver Nyck de Vries is doing the full Alps season, while Chinese driver Hong Li Ye was announced for a partial Alps campaign last week but is currently absent from the series entry list.

Provisional entry list
Team No. Driver
Prema Powerteam 1 Alex Bosak
2 Andrew Tang
60 Bruno Bonifacio
61 Hans Villemi
62 Dennis Olsen
Tech 1 Racing 3 Luke Chudleigh
4 Hugo De Sadeleer
21 Philo Paz Patric Armand
29 Akash Nandy
51 Anthoine Hubert
52 Vasily Romanov
53 Egor Orudzhev
Arta Engineering 5 Simon Gachet
6 James Allen
Koiranen GP 7 Mikhail Tarasov
8 Kang Ling
9 Vitaly Larionov
10 George Russell
19 Nyck De Vries
70 TBA
72 TBA
Jenzer Motorsport 11 Denis Korneev
12 Marek Bockmann
13 TBA
14 Dennis Anoschin
Fortec Motorsports 15 Martin Kodric
16 Thiago Vivacqua
17 Charles Leclerc
18 Seb Morris
57 Matt Parry
58 Jack Aitken
59 Martin Rump
JD Motorsport 25 Matevos Isaakyan
26 TBA
BVM Racing 27 Dario Capitanio
28 Semen Evstigneev
Cram Motorsport 32 Alessio Rovera
33 Stefan Riener
China BRT by JCS 35 TBA
36 Matheo Tuscher
37 Sun Zheng
AS Motorsport by GSK Grand Prix 42 Danyil Pronenko
TS Corse 63 Matteo Gonfiantini
73 Pietro Peccenini
GSK Grand Prix 96 Matteo Cairoli

Drivers in italics are listed as “wildcard” entries