Following the decision made by Renault Sport to cancel the CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship for 2012, Fortec Motorsports has opted to join the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup for the 2012 season.

The Northern European Cup has enjoyed great success in recent years and has proven to be extremely competitive, counting top names such as Fortec’s Formula Renault 3.5 driver Robin Frijns amongst its racing alumni. Although Fortec has previously entered a select few rounds in the Championship, 2012 will be the first full season for the team.

2012 will be the seventh season of the NEC, which was launched in 2006, merging Formula Renault 2.0 Germany and Formula Renault 2.0 Netherlands and the organisers have already announced grids of over 20 cars for the year ahead. It has not yet been established whether all four drivers who were set to compete in the Formula Renault 2.0 UK Championship will compete in the NEC this season, but the team will travel to Hockenheim tomorrow to take part in the second of two official pre-season tests, ahead of the season opener at the German circuit in April.

Fortec Team Principal Richard Dutton said that the NEC seemed like the most sensible option for the Fortec squad: “We’re all extremely disappointed that the UK Championship failed to attract the number of entries required and that the decision to cancel the Championship was made so close to the start of the season, particularly as the team and drivers have worked extremely hard in pre-season testing.

“Ultimately, we want to race in a competitive Championship and the NEC, with strong grids – both in terms of size and quality – seems like the most sensible option for us now. We’ve had to move extremely quickly to get the ball rolling but we’re certain that we can perform at the top level in northern Europe; we have a great, experienced team of mechanics and engineers and I have every confidence in them and we look forward to the new challenge ahead.”

Fortec finished as Team Champions in the 2011 CERTINA Formula Renault 2.0 Championship, which saw Alex Lynn take the Drivers’ Championship in record-breaking style, while Oliver Rowland clinched the Runner-Up spot.

The first round of the eight-event Championship takes place at the Hockenheimring, Germany, April 19-22.