Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic will host the penultimate race meeting of the 2013 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup season next weekend, Saturday, 31st August, and Sunday, 1st September, where series front-runner Raoul Owens aims to climb into the championship top six.
Having made outstanding progress in recent rounds, racing to his maiden category podium last month at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and adding further points finishes three weeks ago at Assen in The Netherlands, the Cape Town-based youngster is relishing his first races in Eastern Europe.
Currently eighth in the championship standings ahead of rounds 12, 13 and 14 of the campaign, the Mark Burdett Motorsport driver has been one of the stand-out performers of late and is determined to make a return to the podium in the Czech Republic.
“I’m really looking forward to being back in the car next weekend, we’ve been getting stronger and stronger as the season has gone on so we’ve got pretty high hopes for Most”, said the Bright Spark Ventures backed racer, “We’ve got a really good chance of leaving there in the championship top six, we’re only five points away as it stands, so that’s the main aim.
“Most is a new track for me, so there’s obviously going to be a lot to learn, but we’ve got some good track time on Thursday and Friday before the weekend properly gets underway, so hopefully we’ll be able to find a good set-up. I’m confident the team will do a great job, as they have all year.”
British-born Raoul, who celebrated his 19th birthday yesterday, Thursday, 22nd August, is in his first season of European level competition and the fact he was disappointed to come away from the previous event at Assen without silverware shows how far he has come since the start of the year.
Working closely with Mark Burdett Motorsport driver coach Robbie Kerr – the 2002 British Formula 3 Champion – and highly respected race engineer Andy Miller, Raoul has certainly unlocked a lot of pace and performance since the start of his rookie NEC season in April. If qualifying runs smoothly, a podium challenge in all three Most races is a strong likelihood.
There will be an official test day at Most next Thursday, 29th August, with two free practice sessions following on Friday, 30th August. Qualifying and round 12 will take place on Saturday, 31st August, at 11.30 (local time) and 15.30 (local time) respectively. On Sunday, 1st September, round 13 will begin at 09.35 (local time) with round 14 scheduled to get underway at 16.05 (local time).
As has been the case at the majority of Formula Renault 2.0 NEC events this year, huge crowds are expected for next weekend’s triple-header – particularly with Formula Renault running as support to the Czech round of the hugely popular FIA European Truck Racing Championship.
Provisional 2013 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup Standings (after Rd11)
8th Raoul Owens, 95pts