SMP Racing has announced today two of its drivers to race on the upcoming Eurocup FR 2.0 season. Alexander Smolyar will promote to the series with Tech 1 Racing, while Aleksadr Vartanyan switches to Arden Motorsport.

SMP Racing has announced today the hiring of two of its drivers by Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 teams. The Russian structure, which sponsorizes lots of drivers across several series has managed to put Alexander Smolyar in Tech 1 Racing and Aleksandr Vartanyan in Arden Motorsport.

Smolyar will do his first Eurocup season. The 16-year old Russian driver has only one year fo single-seater experience, as he did Spanish F4 and SMP F4 in 2017. He performed great in both series despite his young age, and ended as the runner-up in Spain, where he won eight races and was only beaten by Christian Lundgaard; and finished third with eleven podium finishes on the North European Zone F4.

At the end of last year, he already drove for Tech 1 Racing on the post-season testing sessions, where he shown his skills to end up as the fourth driver lined-up by the team, next to the earlier confirmed drivers Neil Verhagen, Frank Bird and Thomas Neubauer. 

“Winter testing confirmed that we were on the right way as we were leading on several tracks; it gave me self-confidence despite I knew we were only testing and the real challenge would start in April. Anyway, communication with the team amd my team mates is excellent. We have all behaved well and things are especially good between my engineer Adrien and I.” Said Smolyar on the team’s press release.

The Russrian driver added that “I can’t wait until the season starts and being on Paul Ricard Circuit for my first Formula Renault with Tech 1 Racing. It’s always exciting to have a new challenge, know a new car, new tracks and new people.”

On the other hand, later today it was also confirmed that Aleksandr Vartanyan would stay in Eurocup for one more season. The 17-year old Russian will switch to Arden Motorsport to complete his second season in the series after making his debut last year, eith JD Motorsport, where he finished the season in 13th place, with 42 points.

His single-seater debut happened in 2015, when he did the SMP F4 with Koiranen GP. He only did six races to adapt to the series, where he would race full-season one year later and finished the championship in third position.

In 2016 he also raced the Spanish F4, where he finished in second place, only behind the dominant champion Richard Verschoor. He also did three Italian F4 races and his first races in Formula Renault Eurocup and NEC with Fortec Motorsports. Last year, he raced in the NEC with Arden and took one podium in one of the two races he did.

Now, the Russian driver has been announced as the new driver for the British team for the entire Eurocup season, becoming Oscar Piastri‘s team mate. “I’m very happy to be participating in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with Arden Motorsport. I hope that the results from this year will be much better than last year’s, I think I did enough tests with Arden to show good performance. I want to thank SMP Racing for the opportunity.” Commented Vartanyan after being signed by Arden.

Team principal Ben Salter also wanted to dedicate some words to his new driver, from whom he expects a lot. “We are pleased to work with him again during the winter testing programme, we know he has the potential to do great things on track, so we don’t have any doubt that he will be competitive since the very first moment he gets on track this year.”

Confirmed drivers so far in Eurocup FR 2.0:

Equipo Piloto
United Kingdom Arden Motorsport Australia Oscar Piastri
Russia Aleksandr Vartanyan
Spain AVF by Adrián Vallés Spain Xavier Lloveras
Mexico Axel Matus
United Kingdom Fortec Motorsports United Kingdom Jordan Cane
Mexico Raúl Guzmán
France Arthur Rougier
Russia Vladimiros Tziortzis
Italy JD Motorsport Italy Lorenzo Colombo
Malaysia Najiy Razak
Germany Josef Kaufmann Racing Netherlands Richard Verschoor
United Kingdom Mark Burdett Motorsport TBA
Netherlands MP Motorsport Denmark Christian Lundgaard
Australia Alex Peroni
France R-ace GP United Kingdom Max Fewtrell
France Victor Martins
France Tech 1 Racing United Kingdom Frank Bird
France Thomas Neubauer
Russia Aleksandr Smolyar
United States Neil Verhagen