Kvyat and Vandoorne set for Paul Ricard title tussle

The Europcup Formula Renault 2.0 season heads to the Paul Ricard circuit in France with Belgium’s Stoffel Vandoorne (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Russia’s Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Motorsport) close together at the top of the standings.

Vandoorne leads his Russian rival by just 11 points after a season in which one or other has led since the third meeting in Germany where the Belgian converted a 17-point deficit into a 13-point lead thanks to two wins from pole.

Kvyat regained the initiative a few weeks later with two wins on home tarmac, and the pair have traded blows ever since, and it's Vandoorne who currently leads thanks to his win in race two at the Hungaroring last time out.

Vandoorne's 11-point lead is mainly down to his consistency: he has never finished lower than fourth in a race, while Kvyat has either won the race or failed to make the podium - and has failed to score at all in two races.

Kvyat and Vandoorne are understandably hot favourites, though third-placed Norman Nato - the only other race winner this year - will also be up there, while Dutch former karting world champion Nyck de Vries is hoping to give his R-ace GP team its maiden Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 win on home soil.

France's Paul-Loup Chatin (Tech 1 Racing) is also hoping to shine at Le Castellet, and as the winner of the only Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race at Paul Ricard last season, he has hopes of saving something from a season in which he has finished on the podium just the once.

Pierre Gasly (R-ace Grand Prix) has a solitary top-three placing to his name but cannot be discounted for a win, while Esteban Ocon (Koiranen Motorsport), Andrea Pizzitola (R-ace GP), Matthieu Vaxiviere (Tech 1 Racing), William Vermont (Arta Engineering) and Leo Roussel (Arta Engineering) would all welcome a podium finish.

Olivier Panis's son Aurelien Panis continues his apprenticeship in the series as he drives for RC Formula in what will be his second Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 meeting.