The packed 22-car field will contest Euroformula Open´s preseason dress rehearsals in Le Castellet with two 14-lap races scheduled for Saturday. 12 different nationalities make up an entry list providing the perfect mix of speed, experience and youth
The Euroformula Open heads to the Circuit Paul Ricard and another event of head-to-head racing at its finest is expected, as forces in 2017 look even more matched. Two weeks after their first two-day test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Euroformula Open will see 22 cars going nose-to-tail in Le Castellet, the French track built by French pastis magnate Paul Ricard, for a second Winter Series event. The schedule includes two races of 14 laps each on Saturday.
Defending Euroformula Open champions Campos Racing will field their four-car fleet of Dallaras for Romania’s Petru Florescu, Brazil’s duo of Matheus Iorio and Thiago Vivacqua and Finland’s Simo Laaksonen. Florescu drove magnificently to move up to the top of the time screens in Barcelona. His teammates Vivacqua and Iorio also left a mark of talent there. They will be joined by Laaksonen. 18-year-old Laaksonen will make his debut in a Formula 3-based car in Le Castellet after spending the last three seasons in several Formula 4 series.
RP Motorsport´s five-car armada will be on track for drivers such as Italian Ludovico Laurini, Thai Kane Shepherd and Briton Harrison Scott. The latter already made a one-off appearance with Teo Martín Motorsport last year in Jerez and stepped onto the podium on Sunday, showing an impressive talent. Both Laurini and Shepherd are Euroformula Open newcomers but they have good results under their belt in go-karts. Two other drivers will be announced shortly.
Carlin will enter three cars at Paul Ricard HTTT. India’s Ameya Vaidyanathan and Canada’s Devlin DeFrancesco set really competitive lap times at Barcelona’s curtain raiser. In fact, Vaidyanathan finished the first day of preseason testing quickest and within the top two on day 2. DeFrancesco also made steady progress and his goal will be to challenge the runners in the top-5.
Teo Martín Motorsport and its trio of young guns, Brazilian Pedro Cardoso and Spaniards Eliseo Martínez and Javier Cobián, are others to be closely followed. Martínez and Cobián are two of the most naturally gifted young drivers in Spain and Cardoso is another of the quick young Brazilian pilots out there.
Fortec Motorsports has announced earlier this week that Alexey Chuklin and Yan Leon Shlom will join Jannes Fittje at Paul Ricard. Fittje and Fortec shone on their own merit in Barcelona and Chuklin and Shlom are two welcome additions. Chuklin already participated in the Formula 3-based racing series in 2013 and 2015 and Shlom will make his debut in the Euroformula Open after having a productive season in the Italian F.4 Championship.
Drivex, after taking the runners up spot last year and honours in Rookies´ classification, will enter its driver pairing of Nikita Troitskiy and Christian Hahn. Russia´s Troitskiy already made a strong impression at Monza when finished 3rd on the rostrum behind title contenders Leonardo Pulcini and Ferdinand Habsburg. Nikita regularly delivered eye-catching results in Barcelona and teaming up with Hahn the two will be another strong duo on the starting grid.
BVM Racing will have a two-car line up in France. Daniil Pronenko is now back for another season racing for the Italian squad and expects to make a good step forward with much more experience under his belt. Another driver is still to be announced.