Brazilian Bullet joins Burdett
2012 Revs Up for Revamped Formula Renault UK
Mark Burdett Motorsport has today confirmed sixteen-year-old Brazilian driver Gabriel Casegrande in their multi-car line-up. The Brazilian driver has an exciting history to date, competing in more than 90 races over the past three years and conquering six championships and six vice championships on the way. Working alongside Ricardo Zonta and Enrique Bernoldi, Gabriel’s most recent accomplishment was grabbing 3rd place in the famous 500 miles kart race organised by Rubens Barrichello.
Formula Renault UK continues to be a breeding ground for successful motorsport talent, confirmed by 2011 Championship Runner-Up, Oliver Rowland, being the fourth successive Formula Renault UK driver to take out the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award in December last year. The award, previously won by Jenson Button, Paul di Resta, David Coulthard, and Dario Franchitti, secured Oliver a test with the McLaren Formula 1 team. At the same evening, 2011 Champion, Alex Lynn, took home the British Club Driver of the Year beating some illustrious rivals to the award. Admired Formula 1 stars such as Kimi Räikkönen, Paul di Resta and Lewis Hamilton all carved their trade as juniors through Formula Renault UK.
Once again the Championship supports the British Touring Car Championship, revelling in the continued live TV coverage on ITV 4, ITV 4 HD and ITV Player online, and with highlights shown on ITV1’s MotorsportUK programme. On top, this season sees two special guest events at Silverstone during the British Formula 3 & British GT weekend, and the Masters of F3 event at Zandvoort. Exciting changes to the Formula Renault UK event format mean each event will now include three races, where Race 1 will be a fast paced sprint over 15 minutes and Races 2 and 3 lasting a thrilling 30 minutes.
Qualifying will also throw in a few twists with the drivers fastest times setting the grid for Race 3, second fastest times setting the grid for Race 2. Race 1 will have it’s grid determined when a position between 6 – 10 will be drawn from the fastest qualifying times, from which these top places will be reversed. It is a race format system not too dissimilar to that of big brother, Formula 3, where many of these youngsters aim once graduating up from Formula Renault.
As an exceptional bonus and thanks to Title Sponsor and Official Time and Watch partner of Formula Renault UK, CERTINA Swiss Watches, every outright pole position will be rewarded with a CERTINA Watch.
The 2012 Championship is also set to feature the renamed Graduate Cup, which will now be known as the Rookie Trophy. It continues to be aimed at those drivers under 19 years of age who have yet to complete a season in the Formula Renault 2.0 (2010 spec) cars.
Also new to the Championship is the inclusion of a ‘B’ class, the Formula Renault Junior class, offering teams the chance to run the Formula Renault Tatuus (pre 2010 chassis) competitively and allows young drivers a cost-effective route into the popular single seater series. With a reduced entry fee, later test ban date and equal billing on track with the Formula Renault 2.0 cars in front of the tens of thousands of crowd at the BTCC events, and live on ITV4, it is an unrivalled opportunity for drivers’ first step into Formula Renault.
CERTINA watches will again be awarded to the next Formula Renault 2.0 UK Champion, as well as the ‘Qualifier of the Year’, and to the engineer of the Champion driver. On top of receiving a luxury watch, the outright Champion also receives £1000 prize money and an exclusive Formula Renault 3.5 test in Motorland, Spain in November.
Not to be outdone, the Formula Renault Junior Champion will also be awarded £1000 prize money along with a CERTINA watch and a race suit to give them that cutting edge as they progress in their burgeoning single seater career.
Championship Promoters SRO Motorsports Group is in negotiations with new partners to bring even more rewards to teams and drivers competing in both Classes of the Championship, which shall hopefully be announced throughout the pre-season. Lisa Crampton, General Manager, is enthusiastic about the season ahead, “After discussions with several teams and drivers during the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, we can expect larger grids for the season ahead.
Crampton continues, “With the inclusion of the Formula Renault Junior class we expect to see a strengthened field, especially with the likes of Fortec, MGR, RPD and Antel all looking to bring Junior cars to the BTCC package; our target of 5 cars in the class is looking very healthy. We’ve worked through a lot of feedback from the teams concerned to ensure that this class is successful and brings to the table what drivers want and need.
“The Formula Renault 2.0 class has a lot of buzz surrounding it. Mark Burdett Motorsport has numerous driver speaking with them, Scorpio are preparing their cars for a return, plus there’s new team GP1 Engineering (ex P1 Motorsport) based out of Hethel and with a wealth of ex-Formula 1 expertise are developing their team and car and looking to join for the season ahead. Series regulars Fortec Motorsport & Competition and Atech Reid GP will be running at least three cars each, and there will also be the regular additions of Eurocup cars throughout the season. The return of teams and the influx of new teams running in both classes will undoubtedly add to the grid, and we look set for an even better year of racing than 2011 provided, which in itself is a significant accomplishment.”
This electrifying, career-launching single seater championship soon begins yet another year of breathtakingly close open wheel competition with the first race at Brands Hatch on the weekend of the 31st March – 1st April.
Thurs 1 March Donington Park National
Weds 7 & Thurs 8 March (shared F3) Snetterton 300
Tues 13 & Weds 14 March Oulton Park Island
Mon 19 & Tues 20 March^* Brands Hatch Indy
Thurs 22 March (shared F3) Silverstone GP
^ Test day includes Formula Renault Junior
* Media/Launch day with Clio
31 March – 1 April Brands Hatch Indy
14 – 15 April Donington Park National
28 – 29 April Thruxton
9 – 10 June Oulton Park Island
13 – 15 July Zandvoort, Netherlands (F3 Masters)♯
11 – 12 August Snetterton 300
8 – 9 September Silverstone GP (F3/GT event)
22 – 23 September Rockingham ISSC
20 – 21 October Brands Hatch GP
♯ Formula Renault 2.0 Class only