A bumper thirty two cars will battle it out over the next two weekends in the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault Finals Series.
The packed grid features entries from the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup, CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship and Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship. The drivers will battle it out over six races, four around the Snetterton 300 circuit this weekend and two at Rockingham on November 12th.
Heading the entry list is a group of drivers that competed in this season's CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship, all of which will be looking to take championship glory after losing out to the dominant Alex Lynn during the main campaign. Oliver Rowland heads in as early favourite, the Fortec driver having taken four race wins as the 2011 season drew to a close.
He will be closely pursued by Jordan King, the Manor Competition driver looking to make amends for a frustrating year, returning to Snetterton, the same circuit where he just missed out on a maiden race win earlier in the year. His former Manor team-mate Josh Hill will be looking to impress after making a shock switch to rival outfit Fortec for the Finals Series. Also returning for the mini-championship is Atech Reid GP's Dan Wells, who showed podium pace at the end of the campaign, and Ed Jones, who returns with Fortec, with whom he appeared in six races this season.
Looking to take on the established Renault UK runners will be a couple of drivers who are making the step up from its feeder series, the Formula Renault BARC Championship. Josh Webster will be looking to impress with new team Mark Burdett Motorsport after narrowly missing out on the BARC championship, while Hector Hurst steps up with Manor Competition hoping to build on a strong first maiden car racing season.
Joining the grid will be two drivers who competed in the 2011 Dunlop MSA Formula Ford of Great Britain series, Geoff Uhrhane and Dan de Zille. Uhrhane will be making his second appearance in Formula Renault with Atech Reid GP, after joining the UK grid at its penultimate rounds at Brands Hatch, while de Zille will be making his 'slicks and wings' debut with Fortec.
Daventry-based Fortec will also be running 2011 InterSteps champion Jake Dennis, the Racing Steps Foundation backed youngster making his debut in Formula Renault, and fellow debutant Shahaan Engineer, the talented Indian racer joining the ranks after impressive performances testing a Formula Renault in the past.
Koiranen Motorsport, one of the front running Formula Renault Eurocup and Formula Renault NEC teams, are bringing six cars over for the fortnight, led by Russian racer Daniil Kvyat, who is a member of the Red Bull Junior team. They will also run Eurocup regular John Bryant-Mesiner, Finnish duo Hans Villemi and Martin Rump, who both regularly compete in the NEC series, and two rookies, French teenager Esteban Ocon and 2011 Formula BMW Talent Cup champion Stefan Wackerbauer.
Also travelling over from Europe will be half Sinapore, half English racer Melville McKee, who will be running with the Interwetten.com Junior Team, and Dutch team Van Amersfoort Racing, who will bring two cars, driven by Brazilian Joao Sergio Camara and Dutchman Dennis Van Der Laar. Austrian driver Thomas Jaeger is also running with Fortec Motorsport, as is Puerto Rican Felix Serralles, while 18 year old Polish racer Tomasz Krzeminski joins Webster at Mark Burdett Motorsport.
The BARC class, using the older Formula Renault chassis', will also be hotly contested, with a handful of racers looking to claim the class honours. Leading them will be Fortec's sole entrant Archie Hamilton, who was one of the frontrunners in the 2011 Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship, taking five podiums on his way to fifth in the points.
2010 championship winning team Hillspeed have entered three cars, to be driven by BARC series regulars Sean Walkinshaw and Victor Jiminez, as well as car racing rookie Joe Kibbler. Another series regular returns in Ivan Taranov, the Russian driver switching teams to Antel Motorsport, the current reigning champions also running Indian racer Chirag Marhotra. MGR Motorsport are also running two cars, though just former Formula Jedi racer James Fletcher is confirmed to be driving at the moment.
2011 Protyre Formula Renault Finals Series Official Entry List
Dan de Zille
Mark Burdett Motorsport
Atech Reid GP
Interwetten.com Junior Team
Van Amersfoort Racing
Dennis Van Der Laar
Joao Sergio Camara