The promoters of the Formula Renault Northern European Cup (NEC) has blamed the FIA for being forced to shut down its championship.
The Formula Renault NEC started in 2006 when the national Formula Renault 2.0 series of Germany and Netherlands were merged together for the championship to run on circuits in the country alongwith Belgium.
MdH Consultants AG has been running the championship using the Tatuus-build car and a 2L Renault Clio engine with Michelin as its tyre supplier. The series had dropped the ‘2.0’ from its name since 2017 and ran as ‘Formula Renault NEC’.
It was to undergo another change from 2019 with it being named as FormulaNEC with Renault Sport having pulled out from its promotional support to the championship, even though it would provide the technical help still.
However, the problem continued as the teams found it hard to rope young drivers to race in the series as promoter Mick de Haas feels the ‘ill-conceived’ plans from the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) hindered its junior programme.
Off-late, the FIA has been pushing to form a formidable ladder to Formula 1 and other top series. It has most of the Formula 4 series in place in different parts of the world and is now creating various Formula 3 series’.
The European F3 and GP3 has already been made into the new F3 series as support to F1 while a regional F3 championship is already in the making which has disrupted the running for the series like NEC and partly Eurocup as well.
In fact, Renault were eyeing to re-brand the Eurocup as the regional F3 series with the FIA support but the WMSC awarded the Italian body, Automobile Club d’Italia to organise the championship on behalf of WSK.
“We are very sorry to have to stop the series at this point,” said de Haas. “The ill-conceived FIA plans for the future of Formula racing has meant that over the past three years we have seen a serious decline in the young drivers market.
“The costs are far too high for individual drivers and the market place is too fragmented. There is now no more room for a very effective and competitive single seater concept like formula Renault 2.0.
“Yet it has helped many young drivers over the past two decades to the top. I would like to thank Renault and their suppliers, the teams that have competed in the NEC, the circuits and all the people that have worked with and for the NEC over the past 13 years.”
The Formula Renault NEC series has seen many of its drivers progressing to F1 with its champions since the 2006 season like Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz already in the sport while Lando Norris will debut next season.
Other champions like Filipe Albuquerque, Antonio Felix da Costa, Jake Dennis, Matt Parry, Louis Deletraz and Ben Barnicoat are progressing well in their careers with many already doing well in other top series.