to WSR in Zolder!
show time for the thirty drivers entered in the World Series by
Renault, set to take part in their first two races this weekend.
On Thursday morning they will drive out onto the Zolder circuit
(Belgium) for the first of the free practice sessions. Given how
close the competitors are teams and the drivers alike
it is difficult to make any predictions
a total of sixteen different nationalities taking part, the World
Series by Renault boasts a mouthwatering line-up. Coming from all
corners of the globe, all thirty drivers have the same goal this
weekend: come away from Zolder with the championship lead.
Attention will inevitably be focused on drivers who have already
taken part in the World Series by Nissan and Formula Renault V6
championships. Thanks to his victory in the 2004 Eurocup FR V6,
the car of Italian Giorgio Mondini (Eurointernational) will carry
the number 1. Other drivers to watch from the group of Formula Renault
V6 veterans include Swedish driver Alx Danielsson, San
Marino driver Christian Montanari (Draco Multiracing USA), Frenchman
Damien Pasini (Cram Competition), Italian Ivan Bellarosa and, perhaps
most dangerously of all, Dutch driver Jaap Van Lagen, whose KTR
team will undoubtedly want to do well on their home circuit.
the drivers converted from WSN, the Spanish pair of Adrian Valles
(Pons Racing) and Felix Porteiro (Epsilon Euskadi), Frenchman Tristan
Gommendy (KTR), Czech driver Tomas Kostka (Victory Engineering)
and Yugoslav driver Milos Pavlovic (GD Racing) are the ones expected
to feature most prominently. Not forgetting Indian driver Karun
Chandhok (RC Motorsport), who would love to follow in the footsteps
of fellow countryman Narain Karthikeyan, who finished sixth in the
World Series by Nissan in 2004 and who now drives for Jordan in
1 is a familiar discipline for Japanese driver Ryo Fukuda (DHG Saulnier
Racing) and Australian Will Power (Carlin Motorsport), former test
drivers at Bar and Minardi respectively. Their experience puts them
up among the favourites. The same goes for Italian driver Enrique
Toccacelo (Victory Engineering), second in last years Formula
drivers have chosen to move over from the F3 Euro Series to the
World Series by Renault: Austrian Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport),
Polish driver Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi), German drivers Markus
Winkelhock (Draco Multiracing USA) and Daniel La Rosa (Interwetten.com)
and Frenchman Eric Salignon (Cram Competition).
one thing is certain: faced with this group of twenty or so drivers
with good experience of top class single-seater formula racing,
the young lions coming from Formula Renault 2.0 will
not be suffering from any kind of inferiority complex. Second and
third in the 2004 Eurocup respectively, Frenchman Simon Pagenaud
(DHG Saulnier Racing) and American Colin Flemming (Jenzer Motorsport)
are ready for the move up. A feeling shared by French champion,
Patrick Pilet (Jenzer Motorsport) and Italian champion, Venezuelan
Pastor Maldonado (Dams), a graduate of the Renault Drivers Development
programme. Included in this group of young lions are two former
World Series Light drivers Spaniard Celso Miguez (Pons Racing)
and Italian Giovanni Tedeschi (RC Motorsport).
testing organized by Renault Sport at the Le Mans, Valencia and
Paul Ricard circuits enabled an initial pecking order to be established.
Winkelhock, Valles, Porteiro, Power, Van Lagen, Pavlovic, Montanari,
Zuber, Kubica, Gommendy and Maldonado all took it in turns to make
the running, which would suggest that no-one starts with a ready-made
lead in this new discipline. From here on in, therell only
be one judge: the checkered flag!