Renault Sport launches Pan American Formula Renault Championships

January 16, 2005

Birmingham, England (16 January 05)—Renault Sport officials announced the creation of the Pan American Formula Renault Championships this weekend at the Autosport International show.

The Pan American Formula Renault Championships will host two championships, with one utilizing the 2.0-liter Formula Renault platform, and a second concurrent championship featuring the high-technology Formula Renault V6. The eight-round Championship will be contested in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Costa Rica.

The Championships are part of the structured Renault ladder to Formula 1, with the 2.0 liter Formula Renault platform providing the entry level for young racers, and the Formula Renault V6 being the next step up in speed and complexity.

“Renault has already established a solid industrial and commercial activity in Latin America,” said Renault Sport Technologies Competition and Communication Manager Jean-Paul Mari. “Today Renault Sport is aiming to give a strong support to the Pan-American Series. Not only technical but also a marketing one by providing to the V6 Pan-Am champion a fully sponsored season in the World Series by Renault in 2006.”

“We believe that the FR V6 single seater-car, developed by Renault Sport, while demonstrating high tech expertise will became soon a showcase in the countries hosting the series,” continued Mari. “It will stand as a unique opportunity to enhance a dynamic image of Renault brand and products and consolidate the position held by Renault Sport in this part of the world.”

The Pan American Formula Renault Championships will be managed by Series Director Allen Berg, a former Formula 1 racer who also has experience as a team owner.

“This is an exciting announcement to be making, as the Pan American Formula Renault Championships are breaking new ground in terms of providing value for the drivers and teams participating, and the cars have already proven themselves on a global scale as being excellent development tools for young drivers,” said Berg. “We are also excited about the caliber of teams that have already purchased cars and who are committed to campaigning both the 2.0 liter and V6 Championships, and about the opportunities that being a ‘container series’ will create.”

The series, which has no ties to any organization that has utilized the Formula Renault chassis in any of the Pan American markets, is a partnership between British businessman John Jakes and Renault Sport of France.

"I feel very privileged to be working so closely with Renault Sport, an organization with a passion for motorsport development, and I am real fan of the V6,” said Jakes. “We raced throughout Europe alongside this car, and I know how impressive they are when racing. The appointment of Allen Berg as managing director ensures that the race series is not only professional but also has the benefit of the hands on experience of this much respected icon of the racing fraternity. I spent some time in South America last year attending race meetings in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico where the following and media focus was astounding, it is enormous. I have no doubt as to the future success of this series."

As a developmental category, the race weekend format is designed to give the drivers not only plenty of seat time, but more importantly, extensive experience in race conditions. The 2-liter Formula Renault race weekends will feature three races-two sprint races and then a feature race. The Formula Renault V6 drivers will get two races each weekend. One race will be in the European fashion with a standing start, and the other will utilize the American method of a rolling start.

There will be eight days of testing in advance of the season, and the schedule has been designed to give drivers and teams one test day in advance of each race weekend, as in-season testing is prohibited as part of the cost-containment strategy of the series.

Renault is totally dedicated to the success of drivers participating in the full ladder of Renault championships, and the prize structure demonstrates their commitment to the future The prize structure for the Championships are designed to promote the drivers who find success and help them move up the motorsports ladder.

The winner of the Formula Renault V6 Championship will receive a season of racing paid by Renault in the World Series by Renault, which is the next step up the Renault ladder and contests the majority of its races in Europe, and will also earn a test with a Formula 1 team.

The winner of the Formula Renault 2.0-liter Championship will win a season of racing in the 2006 Pan American Formula Renault V6 Championship, paid for by PanAmerican Racing.

The 2.0-liter Formula Renault cars will be run with the 2004-specification, utilizing a revised aero package and producing 192 bhp. The Formula Renault V6 cars, which produce in excess of 370 bhp, will be the same cars that were raced in Europe last season, and are currently being rebuilt by Renault Sport, with deliveries available on February 5th. The engines are guaranteed to run 6500 km between rebuilds, and will be €75,000 for a pre-raced version, or €150,000 for a new-build.

The series is intended to provide value to the drivers and teams participating, and cost-containment is a central goal of the Championships. In addition to the ban on in-season testing, the goal of cost-containment will also be addressed by the series being operated as a “container series,” meaning that Series organizers will manage the logistics of transporting the cars from race to race. This will allow a new generation of team owners to participate, as it precludes the need for significant capital investment in many of the elements (such as transporters or a shop) which were traditionally required to operate a race team.

The budget for a 2.0-liter program is believed to be $225,000, with a full season of Formula Renault V6 requiring $550,000.

The full season schedule is currently being finalized, and the series is expected to make additional announcements in the coming weeks. Prospective teams and drivers can find additional information at www.panamracing.com, or contact Allen Berg directly toll-free at 1-866-230-2193 and via email at: allen.berg@panamracing.com.”

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