#33 Dan Ticktum (GBR – Arden Renault)
Formula Renault Eurocup Championship position: 6th – 112 points – after 15 of 23 races
#29 Richard Verschoor (NED – MP Motorsport Renault)
Formula Renault Eurocup Championship position: 11th – 33points – after 15 of 23 races
#31 Neil Verhagen (USA – MP Motorsport Renault)
Formula Renault Eurocup Championship position: 12th – 29 points – after 15 of 23 races
Fresh from their Formula Renault NEC wins at Assen, Neil Verhagen and Richard Verschoor are out to prove that they can do the same in the Eurocup round at Paul Ricard. The 16-year-old Red Bull Juniors took the dip into the NEC series for more track time as they make their mark in the ultra competitive Eurocup.
Fellow Junior Dan Ticktum, the 18-year-old Briton, already has a full Eurocup win to his name but needs to be a podium regular if he is to hang on to the title of 'Best Rookie' through the remaining 8 races.
Progress made for Verschoor
American Verhagen has been on the podium when he was third in Race 1 at the Hungaroring but Dutchman Verschoor is still chasing a top three. "We still have work to do," admitted Verschoor before practice started in the south of France.
"We have done a bit of testing and made some progress but I don't think it is enough. We still have a lot of work to do this weekend. The NEC race weekend in Assen was good for working on the fast corners, then we did a day at Spa and one in Barcelona. I love Spa and really enjoyed the day there but we are not matching the pace of the quick guys and obviously that's what we need to be doing."
"In Barcelona we had some good pace, did some race runs, all good work but we still need more, we need to make more progress this weekend," asserted Verschoor.
Some things figured out for Verhagen
Verschoor's MP Motorsport team mate Verhagen has been on the same schedule. "I'm very much looking forward to this weekend," stated Verhagen. "We have been able to do a bit of testing since the Red Bull Ring. We had the NEC event at Assen that was a home event for MP Motorsport so they wanted to show the fans but it also allowed us to try a few things."
"We've done a day at Spa then a day in Barcelona this week so I believe that we've figured out some things that will help us deal with the pace issue that we have."
"All the teams did the test here at Paul Ricard early in the year so I know my way round even though we had a lot of rain. It's a very different circuit to all the others we have been to, a long track that I think will be very enjoyable. Hopefully our improvements will help us move up and challenge where we know we should be, battling for the podium places and wins."
All there for Ticktum
On their own schedule, Ticktum and the Arden team have had time out. "Yes it's been a lengthy break," admits Ticktum. "I'm keen to get back in the car, just a touch of apprehension because Paul Ricard was my weakest test, quick in the wet but we didn't do the lap time in the dry. There were good reason's for that, an engine problem on one side and me not getting it right on the other but I've been through it all with the team so we know were we are going."
"Of course the car has got a lot better since then and so have I so we are just going there to carry on where we were in Germany and Austria. Forget about the test, we are going there to treat the circuit like any other and use what we have learnt this year. It is great to analyse things with the Arden guys, to understand why we had a problem and what we are going to do about it, it should be another great weekend."
Paul Ricard weekend schedule – all times CEST
Friday 25th August
09.00 – 09.50 Collective Test 1
12.45 – 13.35 Collective Test 2
16.55 – 17.10 Qualifying 1 (Group A)
17.15 – 17.30 Qualifying 1 (Group B
Saturday 26th August
11.10 – 11.25 Qualifying 2 (Group B)
11.30 – 11.45 Qualifying 2 (Group A)
15.00 – 15.27 Race 1 (25m +1 lap)
Sunday 27th August
10.30 – 10.57 Race 2 (25m +1 lap)