For the fourth consecutive year, the Protyre Formula Renault Championship will join the UK’s biggest motor racing package – the British Touring Car Championship’s ‘TOCA’ Tour – for its season finale with organisers today, Wednesday, 20th November, confirming the 2014 calendar.
Beginning with two triple-header events in the East Midlands, the first at Rockingham International Super Sportscar Circuit near Corby in Northamptonshire on 5th/6th April and the second at Donington Park National Circuit in Leicestershire over the weekend 31st May/1st June, the single-seater category will then travel to Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent on 26th/27th July for rounds seven and eight.
The second half of the season will start at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk on 30th/31st August with the final two race meetings of the campaign set to run back-to-back, rounds 11 and 12 taking place at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire on 20th/21st September and the BTCC-supporting finale following one week later on 27th/28th September at Silverstone National Circuit in Northamptonshire.
At the Rockingham, Donington Park, Brands Hatch, Snetterton and Croft race meetings, Protyre Formula Renault will run alongside the burgeoning Michelin Clio Cup Race Series and Michelin Clio Cup Road Series.
In order to provide teams and drivers with the biggest possible window for testing opportunities, championship organiser the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) and series promoter Grovewood Sport will implement the annual testing ban later in the year than usual, at midnight on Thursday, 29th May, meaning competitors can test up to, and in between, the first two race meetings.
“Obviously, the crown jewel in our calendar over the last few seasons has been the BTCC support date for the Protyre Formula Renault finale and we’re absolutely delighted to once again be part of the Silverstone weekend on the TOCA package”, said Grovewood’s Simon North.
“We’ve got a strong calendar, featuring some fantastic circuits, and by having two triple-headers alongside four double-headers the championship once again offers excellent value for money racing with a proven and incredibly reliable car.”
Renowned as the world’s most successful junior single-seater, the Tatuus FR 2.0 chassis on which the Protyre Formula Renault Championship is built is widely regarded as the best car of its kind and one which offers the optimum ‘slicks and wings’ education for karting graduates and rookie racers.
The Tatuus FR 2.0 is, of course, also the car which propelled some of the globe’s greatest racing drivers towards the pinnacle of motorsport – including 2008 FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, fellow Grand Prix racer Paul Di Resta and 2007 F1 Champion Kimi Raikkonen.
More recently, 2011 Protyre Formula Renault Champion Dino Zamparelli and 2012 Vice-Champion Josh Webster each went on to be nominated as finalists for the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award. Reigning champion Chris Middlehurst is in the reckoning for the 2013 accolade.
Mark Godwin, team principal of championship winning entrant MGR Motorsport, is delighted with the selection of circuits for the 2014 season and unsurprisingly happy the category will again support the BTCC at one of its biggest race meetings of the year.
“I do quite like having three races in a weekend, so I’m glad to see Rockingham and Donington will be triple headers”, he commented, “I’m obviously pleased we’ve got a round with TOCA, that’s very important for the profile of the championship, and we’ve got a good choice of circuits. The car is still better than anything else out there at this level.”
Along with headline sponsor Protyre, Formula Renault is additionally supported by Michelin, The Lubricant Consultancy and Petronas Syntium.
2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship Calendar:
Rds 1/2/3 Rockingham ISSC, Northamptonshire 5/6 April
Rds 4/5/6 Donington Park National Circuit, Leicestershire 31 May/1 June
Rds 7/8 Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, Kent 26/27 July
Rds 9/10 Snetterton 300 Circuit, Norfolk 30/31 August
Rds 11/12 Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire 20/21 September
Rds 13/14 Silverstone National Circuit, Northamptonshire 27/28 September*
*supporting the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship