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British Formula Renault Championship

British Formula Renault Championship referred to one of two Formula Renault championships that were held in the United Kingdom. The main series was Renault Sport UK's Formula Renault 2.0 UK championship which was held from 1989 to 2011 and was generally recognized as the British Formula Renault championship. However, in March 2012 it was announced that the Formula Renault UK series would not take place in 2012,[1] with the series being ended definitively in September 2012.[2] A secondary championship organised by the British Automobile Racing Club and known as the Protyre Formula Renault Championship[3] was held continuously between 1995 and 2014. The championship was the only Formula Renault 2.0 championship operating in the United Kingdom after the demise of the main series, but was ended after the 2014 season.[4]

Contents

HistoryEdit

The "British Formula Renault Championship", was founded by the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) in 1989. Renault Sport UK took over the organization of the championship from the following year. This championship was recognized as "British Formula Renault", although the official name of the championship was changed to the "Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship" in 2005. The BARC organized a second championship in 1995. From then, until 2011, two championships existed in the United Kingdom. However, the BARC championship differed from the UK championship in that it is a mainly amateur series. The BARC championship's Club Class uses old chassis previously used in the UK series. Renault Sport UK also supports the BARC series. In 2000, Tatuus replaced the chassis and it pioneered the modern one make racing series that is common today in GP2 Series, GP3 Series and Formula Renault 3.5 Series.

Several notable Formula One Drivers have raced in the series including Lewis Hamilton, Paul di Resta and Heikki Kovalainen but probably the biggest star from Formula Renault UK was Kimi Räikkönen, the champion in 2000, who made a successful debut in Formula One the next year. This brought keen attention to the different Formula Renault 2.0 Championships and became a chance to found new championships in Italy, Brazil and Asia. Both Räikkönen and then Hamilton went on to become Formula One World Champions in 2007 an 2008 respectively. It then became the reference championship for any aspiring single seater driver to compete in, especially in Western Europe.

In March 2012, it was announced that the Formula Renault UK series would not take place in 2012. This was due to a low number of entries to the championship after only receiving six confirmed competitors,[1] as the price for competing for a season was reaching £200,000.[5] Originally, it was planned by series promoter Stéphane Ratel Organisation that the championship would take a one-year hiatus, leading to a re-launch in 2013. However, it was reported in the media that the series was ended definitively in September 2012.[2]

A new proposal to reintroduce Formula Renault UK was made by the BARC and motorsport promoter Grovewood in 2014.[5] The revived series would be a two-tier championship, with the modern Tatuus FR2.0/13 being used alongside the older machines used in the BARC series. Formula Renault BARC, which had been suffering from declining grid sizes, would be absorbed into the new championship.[5] The plan was dropped after a breakdown in negotiations with Formula Renault's organisers,[4] and the lack of demand for a new junior single-seater series in competition with the new Formula 4 class MSA Formula and BRDC Formula 4.[6] With the failure of the plan, the BARC also dropped their existing Formula Renault series, leaving no dedicated British Formula Renault Championship for 2015.[4] The BARC instead planned to run a Formula Libre category, which would accommodate the existing Formula Renault cars alongside those from other Formulas whose British championships had recently ended.[4]

Formula Renault 2.0 UKEdit

Formula Renault 2.0 UK
 
CategoryFormula Renault 2.0
Open Wheel Racing
CountryUnited Kingdom
Inaugural season1989
Folded2011
ConstructorsBarazi-Epsilon
Engine suppliersRenault
Last Drivers' champion  Alex Lynn
Last Teams' champion  Fortec Motorsports
Official websiteFormula Renault UK

The Renault Sport championship organised an annual regular series, supporting the British Touring Car Championship and UK round of the World Series by Renault, as well as a winter series. The regular series was the main championship and at its peak, held 20 races over 10 meetings. Originally known as Formula Renault UK the championship used engines of 1,721cc. Between 1995 and 1999 the championship was called Formula Renault Sport UK and used a 2,000cc 8V engine was used. Another name change in 2000 say the series known as Formula Renault 2000 UK before adopting Formula Renault 2.0 UK in 2005. Since 2000 the championship has used 2,000cc 16V engines. The French tyre manufacturer Michelin was the tyre supplier and the title sponsor of the series since 1992.

Several notable Formula One Drivers have raced in the series including Kimi Räikkönen, Lewis Hamilton, Paul di Resta and Heikki Kovalainen.

Graduate CupEdit

The UK Championship had a secondary class, known as the Graduate Cup. The scheme aimed to help young drivers enter the championship. The highest placed Graduate Cup driver for each round received a trophy on podium and the overall Graduate Cup winner received a discount on the entry fee for the Formula Renault 2.0 UK or Clio Cup UK championships. To be eligible to race in the Graduate Cup Class drivers had to have competed in no more than two Formula Renault 2.0 race meetings before the current season (except drivers who have previously taken part in the Formula Renault UK Winter Cup or have raced in the Formula Renault BARC Championship) and must be under 19 years of age.

Weekend FormatEdit

The weekend started with a Friday testing session at each venue. This was made up of two 25 minute sessions. Saturday consisted of Two 20 minute qualifying sessions which decided the grid for the two 30 minute races, with both held either on the Sunday or the first race on Saturday afternoon and the second race on Sunday. Drivers scored points down to 20th place with two points for fastest lap. Only the best 18 results counted towards the championship with points shared out using the following system:

Position Fastest Lap
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th
32 28 25 22 20 18 16 14 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 2

ChampionsEdit

 
2008 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Champion Adam Christodoulou.
 
2009 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Champion Dean Smith.
Season Champion Team Champion Winter/Finals Champion
1989   Neil Riddiford   Tarry Racing Not held
1990   Thomas Erdos   Fortec Motorsport
1991   Bobby Verdon-Roe   Fortec Motorsport
1992   Pedro de la Rosa   Racing for Spain-Minister
1993   Ivan Arias   Racing for Spain-Minister
1994   James Matthews   Manor Motorsport
1995   Guy Smith   Manor Motorsport
1996   David Cook   DCCook Racing
1997   Marc Hynes   Manor Motorsport
1998   Aluizio Coelho   Manor Motorsport   Antônio Pizzonia
1999   Antônio Pizzonia   Manor Motorsport   Kimi Räikkönen
2000   Kimi Räikkönen   Manor Motorsport   Mark McLoughlin
2001   Carl Breeze   Motaworld Racing   Robert Bell
2002   Danny Watts   Fortec Motorsport   Robert Bell
2003   Lewis Hamilton   Manor Motorsport   Jay Howard
2004   Mike Conway   Fortec Motorsport   Stuart Hall
2005   Oliver Jarvis   Manor Motorsport   Junior Strous
2006   Sebastian Hohenthal   Fortec Motorsport   Franck Mailleux
2007   Duncan Tappy   Fortec Motorsport   Richard Singleton[note 1]
2008   Adam Christodoulou   CRS Racing   James Calado
2009   Dean Smith   Manor Competition   Harry Tincknell
2010   Tom Blomqvist   Fortec Motorsport   Alex Lynn
2011   Alex Lynn   Fortec Motorsports   Oliver Rowland
Notes
  1. ^ Valtteri Bottas won three of the four races and placed second on the final race, but did not gain any championship points, as he did not have a license for the series.

Protyre Formula Renault ChampionshipEdit

Protyre Formula Renault
 
CategoryFormula Renault 2.0
Open Wheel Racing
CountryUnited Kingdom
Inaugural season1995
Folded2014
Drivers39 (2012)
Teams15 (2012)
ConstructorsTatuus
Engine suppliersRenault
Tyre suppliersMichelin by Protyre
Last Drivers' champion  Pietro Fittipaldi
Official websiteFormula Renault BARC

The Protyre Formula Renault Championship, organized by the British Automobile Racing Club, began in 1995 as a rival to the Renault Sport UK championship. The series was named Formula Renault BARC Championship to distinguish itself from the Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship. Most of the regulations relating to the cars are the same as the UK series, but the cars have fixed gear ratios, an intake restrictor to limit engine wear, and are limited to one new set of tyres per outing. The championship used the older Formula Renault Tatuus chassis first introduced to Formula Renault racing in 2000 and updated in 2007, which makes the championship a viable prospect to drivers with lower levels of budget and funding. With the collapse of the Renault Sport championship in early 2012,[1] the BARC Championship became the prominent Formula Renault Championship in the United Kingdom and from 2013, took the name Protyre Formula Renault Championship, dropping the BARC tag after its growth into one of the leading national single seater championships in Great Britain.[3] Despite its initial growth, grid sizes fell in subsequent seasons, and the championship ended in 2014.

Weekend FormatEdit

The weekend starts with a general testing session on the Friday. This was made up of two 25 minute sessions. Qualifying is held on Saturday and consists of two 20 minute sessions which decide the grid for the two 30 mile races, with both races held on the Sunday. During the 2012 season, triple header events were introduced. Qualifying for race one and two remains the same, however the race three grid is decided by the second fastest time set during the second qualifying session. During triple header weekends, the first race is held on Saturday with the remaining two races held on the Sunday. Drivers score points down to 20th place with two points for fastest lap. All rounds, less one, count towards the championship with points shared out using the following system:

Position Fastest Lap
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th
32 28 25 22 20 18 16 14 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 2

Latest seasonEdit

The 2013 Protyre Formula Renault Championship will be the 19th Championship organized by the British Automobile Racing Club and the second year as the UK's only premier Formula Renault 2.0 championship. The season will begin at Donington Park on 14 April and end on 29 September at Silverstone Circuit. The series will form part of the BARC club racing meetings and will expand from fourteen to sixteen rounds at six events all held in England, with four triple header events.

ChampionsEdit

Formula Renault BARC
Season Champion Winter/Finals Champion
1995   David Henderson Not held
1996   Ian Astley
1997   Peter Clarke
1998   Nick Dudfield
1999   Elliot Lewis
2000   Jamie Beales
2001   Martin Wallbank
2002   Jeremy Smith
2003   James Gornall
2004   Nicky Wilson
2005   Nick Wilcox
2006   Richard Singleton
2007   Hywel Lloyd   Hywel Lloyd
2008   Ollie Hancock   James Theodore
2009   Kieren Clark Not held
2010   Alice Powell   Josh Webster
2011   Dino Zamparelli   Victor Jiminez
2012   Scott Malvern   Seb Morris
Protyre Formula Renault Championship
Season Champion Autumn Champion
2013   Chris Middlehurst   Ben Barnicoat
2014   Pietro Fittipaldi Not held

Teams ParticipatingEdit

 
The Scorpio Motorsport team at Donington Park in 2008.

The following teams have competed in either the Renault Sport Championship or the BARC Championship.

  • Antel Motorsport
  • Apotec Scorpio
  • Cliff Dempsey Racing
  • Core Motorsport
  • Cullen Motorsport
  • CRS Racing
  • Falcon Motorsport
  • Fortec Motorsport
  • Hillspeed
  • Jamun Racing

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Paice, Simon (2012-03-19). "Formula Renault UK Axed for 2012". The Checkered Flag. Black Eagle Media Network. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  2. ^ a b Bradley, Charles, ed. (27 September 2012). "No TOCA return for Renault". Autosport. Vol. 209 no. 13. Teddington, Middlesex: Haymarket Publications. p. 79. The decision to end Formula Renault UK brings down the final curtain on a series that ran continuously in Britain from 1989 until the end of 2011 – with a number of Formula 1 drivers, including world champions Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Räikkönen, racing in the championship early in their careers.
  3. ^ a b "Protyre Formula Renault expands to 16 rounds for 2013". Renaultsport UK. Renault Sport. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d Mitchell, Scott; Hayes, Russell (19 January 2015). "Planned Formula Renault UK return replaced by new Libre concept". Autosport.com. Haymarket Media. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Mitchell, Scott (31 July 2014). "Formula Renault UK returns for 2015 after three-year break". Autosport.com. Haymarket Media. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  6. ^ Paice, Simon (22 January 2015). "No UK Formula Renault For 2015". TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk. Retrieved 22 January 2015.

External linksEdit