Reigning CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK Champions Fortec Motorsport have announced they will join the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup for 2012 after the UK series recent cancellation.
2012 will be the seventh season of the NEC, which launched in 2006 as a merger between the German and Dutch national Formula Renault series. With grids of over 20 cars already confirmed for the season, the NEC seemed like the logical choice for Fortec, who have entered select rounds of the series in the past.
Fortec had signed up Josh Hill, Jake Dennis, Shahaan Engineer and Dan de Zille for the UK series and it's unclear whether all four drivers will join the team in switching to Europe. The team are set to travel to Hockenheim this week though to take part in the second of the championship's two official pre-season tests.
Fortec Team Principal Richard Dutton said: “We're all extremely disappointed that the UK Championship failed to attract the number of entries required and that the decision to cancel the Championship was made so close to the start of the season, particularly as the team and drivers have worked extremely hard in pre-season testing.
“Ultimately, we want to race in a competitive Championship and the NEC, with strong grids – both in terms of size and quality – seems like the most sensible option for us now. We've had to move extremely quickly to get the ball rolling but we're certain that we can perform at the top level in northern Europe; we have a great, experienced team of mechanics and engineers and I have every confidence in them and we look forward to the new challenge ahead.”
The move to the Northern European Cup will see Fortec come back up against their long time Renault UK rivals Manor Competition, who quit the UK series earlier this winter for an assault on the NEC in collaboration with MP Motorsport.