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Le Mans: Series preview

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Le Mans: Series preview
Sep 5, 2008, 10:08 AM

Van der Garde on dangerous ground Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport) has been warned: the French are intent on making his life difficult at Le Mans! Starting with Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Racing) who has shown himself to be the Dutchman's ...

Van der Garde on dangerous ground

Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport) has been warned: the French are intent on making his life difficult at Le Mans! Starting with Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Racing) who has shown himself to be the Dutchman's most serious rival since the beginning of the summer. But as always in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, the list of contenders is not limited to just one or two names...

Race after race, Giedo Van der Garde has proved that he is the master of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. However, the Dutchman is still under threat from competitors who keep getting stronger. With four wins and a forty-seven point lead, the P1 Motorsport driver can start to concentrate on maintaining his advantage. To take the title this weekend, he needs to leave Le Mans with a 62 point lead over the second-place driver. A difficult feat, but not an impossible one!

Julien Jousse knows that he must take full advantage of this French round of the championship if he is to catch up with the leader and keep everyone guessing until Barcelona's grand finale. On a circuit he is well acquainted with, the French driver clearly has two objectives: to claim his first pole position of the season, followed by his first win!

Second place in the championship, currently held by Jousse, is hotly contested. Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature), a race winner on two occasions, cannot be discounted. If he keeps up his momentum, the Brazilian could find the nine points he needs to catch Jousse this weekend. Winners of one race apiece this season, Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing), Salvador Duran (Interwetten.com Racing), Miguel Molina (Prema Powerteam), Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) and Robert Wickens (Carlin Motorsport) all have the runner-up spot in their sights.

Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport), Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil Team Comtec) and Alvaro Barba (Prema Powerteam) are themselves planning an ambush. These three drivers have set foot on the podium and have scored a lot of points, but none has yet managed to win a race. They are all names to look out for, as winning is the primary objective for these three young drivers. They have nothing left to lose and are ready to take every risk necessary. Finally, Alexandre Marsoin (Epsilon Euskadi), who cut his teeth at Le Mans with La Filipre FFSA, is hoping to make the most of his inside knowledge to close the gap on the lead group.

In the Team standings, P1 Motorsport has the advantage for the time being. Just 19 points behind, Tech 1 Racing, is still harbour dreams of holding on to the title they won in 2007. Meanwhile, the threat from Prema Powerteam is mounting. Thanks to the success of Miguel Molina at the Nurburgring, the Italian team is particularly motivated as the season nears its conclusion. However, the situation in the championship could change very rapidly as only seventeen points separate Prema Powerteam in third place from Red Devil Team Comtec in eighth.

The young Spaniard Siso Cunill, who managed the impressive feat of scoring a point in his first Formula Renault 3.5 Series race is joined at KTR by a new teammate. Sergey Afanasiev will be racing with the Belgian team until the end of the season. The Russian is not unknown to the World Series by Renault, having driven in the 2005 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 alongside Mikhail Aleshin.

-credit: wsbyrenault.com

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