Harrison Scott will continue in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Series in 2016 with the Spanish-based AV Formula squad that provided him with a car for his debut in the championship last season.
The nineteen-year-old admitted he didn’t have high expectations during his rookie campaign last year, but achieved his aim of taking the rookie crown in the championship, and now is looking to build on that for an attack on the overall title in 2016.
“2015 was a very good break-through year for me, moving up from national championships in to European racing,” said Scott to The Checkered Flag. “FR2.0 is described as one of the toughest single seater categories, so to be competing in it was great.
“For my first year I didn’t have particularly high expectations, apart from becoming Rookie Champion. To achieve that by the end of the season was really pleasing, and also the podium at Silverstone – that was brilliant and showcased the pace in the car and myself!
“Last year was always going to be a steep learning curve; I had to learn new tracks with limited pre-season testing, how to get the most out of the soft Michelin tyres and also get comfortable with the FR2.0 car.”
Now heading into his second season in the championship, Scott has title ambitions, and believes with the continued support of Adrian Vallés and the AV Formula team, he can be a contender
“Now that I have a year’s experience under my belt I can concentrate fully on the task in hand, which is having a shot at winning the championship in 2016,” insisted Scott. “Going back to the AV Formula team is a great bonus too. I know all the guys well and feel very comfortable – I trust them to give me a potentially race winning car.
“I am extremely happy to be returning to the championship with AVF and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be working with them again. I know how the team works and they know how to get the best out of me and THAT is what I’m really excited about.
“I’m grateful to Adrian for giving me the opportunity to compete with his team again and I’m sure we can make this year even more successful. Of course, I had talks about other racing options, but consistency is key and being in the same team for my second year as well will put us in good stead.”
When asked about consistency, Scott insists it is key to having a good season in the Eurocup championship, with the British driver feeling that qualifying is extremely important, as overtaking in the championship will never be easy.
“Consistency is definitely key when it comes to the Eurocup championship,” said Scott. “It’s going to be very important to get in the points every race and to achieve as many podiums as possible.
“A huge factor to that will be qualifying well. There isn’t the luxury of reverse grids in Eurocup to mix things up, so it will be important to qualify at the front of the field, especially as overtaking in these cars is never easy.”
With a limited budget, Scott knows the importance of a strong season to give him the possibility of advancing up the racing ladder in 2017, and the Briton is thankful to have a team of people behind him that believe in his ability.
“It’s important every year [to have a strong season]! But seriously, I don’t have unlimited funding behind me so to give my racing career the best possible chance I need to make sure my performances are strong every season,” insisted Scott.
“I’m fortunate though that the team of people behind me, John (my dad) and Peter (VCM Motorsport), are very hard working and without them racing wouldn’t be possible. So yes, it’s important to have a strong year and I’ll do everything I can to make sure we can challenge for the title.”
One of the firsts that Scott will encounter in 2016 is a trip to Monte Carlo, as the Eurocup championship supports the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix for the first time, and the British driver is looking forward to the experience in May.
“It’s going to be an unbelievable experience and what better place to do it than at the Monaco Grand Prix,” revealed Scott. “It’ll be a surreal feeling at first I’m sure, but I am certainly excited and looking forward to it.
“The Renault series has given us great opportunities to showcase our skills on some of the world’s most iconic tracks, so I’m proud to be part of it. Obviously, with limited track time and having never raced in Monaco before, it’s going to be very important that my pre-race preparation is as focused as possible.”
Scott will face on-track opposition from two other highly rated British drivers in 2016 in the form of BRDC F4 champion Will Palmer and MSA Formula champion Lando Norris, but Scott hopes his experience from 2015 will give him an advantage.
“Will and Lando have both won F4 series’ in the UK, so of course they are going to be quick,” said Scott. “But they’ll both be rookies in the FR2.0 Championship this year, so they’ll have a lot to learn.
“The experience I gained last year will hopefully give me the edge; it’s a very challenging and competitive Championship, so experience will count.”
Scott revealed that he has become a simulator kart coach at the Silverstone iZone Performance Centre working with young talent while also preparing for racetracks on the Eurocup schedule that he has not had prior experience.
“At the start of 2016 I joined the iZone Performance Centre at Silverstone working as the kart coach on their simulator,” said Scott. “It’s been great fun working with lots of young talent, teaching them the skills I’ve learned during my nine years of racing.
“It’s nice to see them come on as a young driver and they also teach me a thing or two! The set up at iZone is just fantastic and provides a lot of the tools to help you succeed.
“With simulators becoming a big part of race preparation a lot of mine will be done there too, especially for new circuits on the 2016 calendar and ones I’ve never been to too!”