Robin Frijns top of the pile for the first time
The action keeps coming thick and fast in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. Robin Frijns (Josef Kaufmann Racing) goes into a round as championship leader for the first time this season, and the Dutchman will be looking to preserve his advantage at Silverstone. To do so, he will first have to fend off the challenge of Korianen Motorsport pair Carlos Sainz Junior and Daniil Kvyat. Will Stevens (Fortec Motorsports) will also be hoping to impress on home soil, along with fellow Brits Melville McKee (Arta Engineering) and Alex Lynn (Fortec Motorsports).
Last month’s meeting in Budapest marked the mid-point in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season, and a new name appeared at the top of the championship standings at the end of the weekend. Carlos Sainz Jr. had enjoyed a blistering start to the season, but the Spaniard had a below-par weekend in Hungary and allowed Robin Frijns to seize control of the championship. Frijns’ impressive display at the Hungaroring ensured he went into the summer break with a 13-point lead over Sainz Jr.
Frijns has finished in the top five in every outing so far this season, making the podium six times and winning three races along the way. Consistency has been the Dutchman’s main strength, and he has employed the same strategy that helped him win the Formula BMW Europe title last season. He now sits in his preferred position at the top of the standings, and his objective will be to maintain his current form right until the end of the final meeting in Barcelona.
Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat have won two races apiece, and the Red Bull Junior Team members will be determined to halt Frijns’ progress. The pair now find themselves chasing the Dutchman and they will need to take risks if they are to keep their title hopes alive – particularly with several other strong contenders lining up to cause an upset.
Timmy Hansen (Interwetten.com Junior Team), who recorded a maiden Formula Renault 2.0 victory at the Hungaroring, and Oscar Andrés Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing) are two outsiders worth keeping a close eye on. After a somewhat lacklustre start to the season, Alex Riberas (Epic Racing), Javier Tarancon (Tech 1 Racing) and Stoffel Vandoorne (KTR) are all growing in stature and will be determined to win a race before the end of the season. The trio have six races left in which to find their winning touch.
It goes without saying that there will be extra focus on the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0’s British drivers at Silverstone. With three poles to his name so far, Will Stevens has shown that he can perform extremely well over a single lap. The Essex-born youngster has occasionally struggled to find the same form in race situations, but with a win and three podium finishes under his belt, and as the fourth-best driver in the championship standings, it would be unwise to write off his title challenge just yet. A strong performance on home soil is essential if he is to keep his title hopes alive.
Melville McKee has been a revelation in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps, and the 16-year-old continues his learning curve at Silverstone with his second weekend of competition in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. McKee made his debut in the competition at the Nürburgring back in June, and the young talent will be hoping to make an impression at Silverstone. Also out to make a mark is current Formula Renault 2.0 UK leader Alex Lynn. The youngster performed well at the Hungaroring and has every chance of springing a surprise on home soil.