#29 Richard Verschoor (NED – MP Motorsport Renault)
Formula Renault Eurocup Championship position: 7th – 21points – after 4 of 20 races
#33 Dan Ticktum (GBR – Arden Renault)
Formula Renault Eurocup Championship position: 9th – 16 points – after 4 of 20 races
#31 Neil Verhagen (USA – MP Motorsport Renault)
Formula Renault Eurocup Championship position: 12th – 12 points – after 4 of 20 races
From bangers and mash to langue de bœuf, from British World War 2 aerodrome to a beautiful French city that dates back to the 11th century, the switch from Silverstone to Pau could hardly be more dramatic. The third weekend of Formula Renault Eurocup action offers is a very new challenge for Red Bull Juniors Dan Ticktum, Richard Verschoor and Neil Verhagen.
"It's completely new and I'm very excited," enthused the 16-year-old Dutchman as he prepared to board his flight to France. "I know it is going to be hard, I have never driven a street race before and though I've done the maximum sim preparation there is nothing like going out and driving it."
"The car set-up will be very different to Monza or Silverstone of course but that's not the big thing to adapt to, it will be the track itself. More than a track like Silverstone, a street circuit is up to the driver more than the car. I think I can be good at street racing, I can concentrate but we'll find out how good this weekend," concluded Verschoor.
Verhagen keen to try it
Waiting to get on the flight with his MP Motorsport team mate Verschoor, 16-year-old American Verhagen shared his enthusiasm. "As Richard said it's going to be a great weekend and we know it will hard. Some of the other guys have driven there before and that is quite an advantage but I'm looking forward to driving it.
"I'd like to say that I'm an accurate driver and I can make a good job of driving a street circuit but we'll have to see. We can all make mistakes though and I think that Pau is even more tight than Monaco with kerbs that will damage the suspension and punish even small mistakes."
"We are certainly looking for a better weekend than Silverstone because that wasn't up to anyone's standard," asserted Verhagen.
Ticktum on a roll
"I feel I'm ready to do a good job this weekend. I raced Macau last year so I've got an idea what to expect and I think Macau is the toughest street circuit," explained the 17-year-old Briton. "I think a track like that brings out the best in the good drivers. Obviously I've also driven it in the sim so I feel well prepared in that respect. As well as you can be without actually driving Pau."
"After driving the F3 car in Macau I've got a good idea how the car will feel, set up softer for the bumpy street circuit, of course the Renault will be different in its own way but I think I'm ready for it, we'll see."
"Some people have Pau experience but not too many and we are carrying some good momentum from Silverstone last weekend so I can't wait to get out on track."
Unlike the Monza and Silverstone events there is no generous Thursday testing in Pau, just the 40 minute collective tests on Friday.
Pau weekend schedule – all times CEST
Friday May 19th
09:15 – 09:55 Collective test 1
14:25 – 15:05 Collective test 2
Saturday May 20th
08:24 – 08:39 Qualifying 1 (Group A)
08:44 – 08:59 Qualifying 1 (Group B)
17:47 – 18:14 Race 1
Sunday May 21st
08:57 – 09:12 Qualifying 2 (Group B)
09:17 – 09:32 Qualifying 2 (Group A)
17:10 – 17:37 Race 2