Although deprived of a win at Le Mans by Kamui Kobayashi (Prema Power Team) and Yann Clairay (SG Formula), Michael Ammermüller (Jenzer Motorsport) remains the clear leader of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. On the streets of Bilbao, the gaps between the cars should be even tighter than before!
The thirty-three Formula Renault 2.0 cars will have the honour of being the first to race on Bilbao's new urban circuit, the venue for the seventh and eighth races of the season. As always, the Eurocup field is set to put on a colourful show for fans from the Basque country, who will need little encouragement to get excited about the exploits of the motorsport champions of the future!
Michael Ammermüller made a strong impression by winning the first four races of the season, but his fine run was brought to an end on French soil. At Le Mans, a circuit that is not among his favourites, the German managed to «limit the damage» to a podium and a sixth place finish. Which means that he now has a comfortable 36-point lead, and so whatever happens this weekend, the Jenzer driver will leave Bilbao as the leader!
Le Mans turned out to be a sort of private playground for Yann Clairay: he managed two pole positions, won one race and was runner-up in the other. The SG Formula driver's near flawless performance enabled him move up to second place in the overall standings. With two DNFs, he knows he will have to keep up the same level for the remaining five meetings if he is to challenge Ammermüller for the title!
The same goes for Kamui Kobayashi. The Japanese driver had done little in the first few races to suggest that he deserved his status of favourite, but he is now making rapid progress, so much so that he claimed his first win at Le Mans. Trailing Clairay by only two points, the Prema Power Team leader also has two DNFs to his name.
Behind these three, there's a big gap! Carlo Van Dam (SG Formula), Junior Strous (Mr. Glow Motorsport), Adrian Zaugg (Jenzer Motorsport), Bertrand Baguette (Epsilon Euskadi), Westley Barber (Comtec Racing) and Hiroyuki Matsumura (Graff Racing) are all potential winners, but their current lack of consistency looks set to condemn them to fighting for a place in the top 5 of the Eurocup. The season is, however, far from over and these five drivers could still move up towards the top of the standings if any of the leaders were to slip up.
In spite of showing clear potential, several drivers have had difficulty turning their potential into good results. It is true that the Eurocup field is still as agitated as ever and that it is sometimes difficult to avoid getting involved in accidents. There's a good chance that Frederico Montoya (Jenzer Motorsport), Patrick Rocha (Prema Power Team), Daniel Serra (Cram Compétition), Xavier Maasen (JD Motorsport) or David Oberlé (Team Jenzer) will come good this time around!
The three Spanish drivers entered in the 2005 Eurocup have not had much success so far. Juan Antonio del Pino, from local team Epsilon Euskadi, only scored one point at Zolder. But that's better than the drivers from the Pons Racing-Circuit de Catalunya team, Dani Clos and Miguel Molina, who have yet to open their personal points tally. They hope to be more successful at their second national meeting, after the one in Valencia.
Blanca de Foronda