The 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup kicks off this weekend at Hockenheim, with British outfit Fortec Motorsport putting six cars on the grid for the curtain-raiser.
Alongside it's confirmed NEC drivers Josh Hill, Jake Dennis, Shahaan Engineer and Dan De Zille, who joined the series after the cancellation of the Formula Renault UK Championship, Fortec's Eurocup drivers Ed Jones and Mikko Pakari will be joining the grid.
All six Fortec drivers are relishing the chance to race at the prestigious Hockenheimring and are going to be part of a huge grid, with a confirmed entry list of nearly forty cars for the opening weekend. Jones and Pakari head to Germany looking to get some track time ahead of the Eurocup season opener at Motorland, Aragon in two weeks time, while the NEC quartet will be looking for strong starts to their seasons after all sitting in the top ten during testing at the circuit at the end of March.
Engineer, the youngest of the Fortec drivers, said: “You have to race against the best drivers to try and be the best yourself. Close competition is what I enjoy the most about racing and it doesn't get much closer than the NEC.
“There are some great drivers in the championship and racing against the best will help my career immensely in this, my first full season of single seater racing. Over the past few years, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC has become the fastest growing of the globe's Renault one-make championships and has produced countless star names so I really am looking forward to being part the 37 car grid including the top Eurocup drivers this weekend at Hockenheim.”
Racing Steps Foundation-backed Dennis commented: “My aim is to win really; I know the track fairly well after doing a two-day test there in March, and I was very competitive. Knowing that there will be close to 40 cars on the grid, I'm not expecting it to be easy as some of the drivers have two or three years' experience and this is only my first year. There’s some serious competition in this NEC championship such as Stoffel Vandoorne, Alex Riberas as well as my team mates who are going to be pushing me hard, but I'm sure I'll be up there.”
Fortec Team Principal Richard Dutton added: “With its strong grids, the NEC looks set to provide some great racing this year and it's fantastic that two of our Eurocup drivers will have the chance to gain some more racing experience before their racing season starts. Hockenheim is a great circuit and our NEC drivers performed very well throughout testing so I'm sure that all six drivers will be on the pace over the weekend.”