2010 Formula Renault 2.0 undergoing testing at Rockingham, UK – Click above for high-res image gallery
No single automaker occupies more steps on the formula racing ladder than Renault. In addition to running their own Formula One team (for the time being, at least) and powering both the GP2 Series and the upcoming GP3, the French automaker's motorsport division organizes the Formula Renault 1.6 and Formula Renault 2.0 championships worldwide, as well as the World Series by Renault (formerly known as Formula Renault 3.5). Its enough to keep the folks over at Renaultsport busy at every turn, and gives aspiring racers a framework through which to advance.
Since taking over in 2000 from the Formula France series founded in 1968, Formula Renault 2.0 has been running chassis made by Tatuus, a racing firm in the same vein as Dallara or Reynard. But Renaultsport is replacing the nine-year-old chassis with a new carbon-fiber unit built in-house.
As you might have guessed from the name, the series employs 2.0-liter engines, the 16-valve four-cylinder F4R832 sourced from the Clio RS, mated to a seven-speed sequential gearbox. Although the sticker price for the new car has gone up by five grand to 57,000 euros ($85k), significant energies were invested in reducing operational costs, which drop by ten percent for the new car. All the while, the new chassis raises performance to the level of higher formulae and meets the FIA's crash standards laid out for Formula 3. The car has already undergone over 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) of testing on nine different circuits across Europe, including most recently at the Rockingham Motor Speedway at the hands of 2007 Formula Renault UK Champion Duncan Tappy (pictured above).
Considering that such noteworthy current F1 drivers as Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica all passed through Formula Renault on their way up, and that Kimi Raikkonen moved into F1 directly from the series, the new FR2 could be one of the most important unveilings for the future of motorsports. Details in the press releases after the jump and photos in the gallery below.