Russian oil giant Lukoil to sponsor Atte Mustonen
Mustonen will remain with the Raikkonen team for his 2008 British F3 campaign
Raikkonen Robertson Racing's (Double R) F3 driver Atte Mustonen will remain with the team for 2008, having signed an important sponsorship agreement with Russia's largest, indeed one of the world's largest oil refining companies, Lukoil. According to the terms of the agreement Atte will participate in Lukoil's "Drivers Support Program". Mustonen is the first non-Russian driver to be chosen to participate in the program.
"We have been following Atte Mustonen's motorsport career for some time now, and in our opinion he is one of the best young drivers," said Lukoil Racing Team manager Evgeny Malinovskiy. Malinovskiy continued, "We expect some strong performances from Atte, and for him to continue developing as a driver. Atte's good results will strengthen our co-operation for this season and will form a strong basis for continued co-operation in the future."
Lukoil has been involved in motorsport for over 10 years now. Lukoil Racing Team has achieved notable successes both in Russia and in Europe, winning more than 60 championships over the years. In 2003 the company set up the "Drivers Support Program" to support the best young Russian drivers. The program is currently nurturing such talents as Mikhail Aleshin, Sergey Afanasiev and Sergey Chukanov, and now Atte is the program's first foreign driver. "Our main aim is to produce an F1 driver," says Evgeny Malinovskiy determinedly.
Lukoil Racing Team is the leading Russian motorsport organization; its operations including management, driver training and support, engineering expertise and a quality technical environment, which enables continuous development, building, testing and race preparation. A team with such a high level of competence enables the continuous exploitation of state-of-the-art technology and intensive driver training.
"This contract is very important for us, and is certainly the first of its kind in Finnish motorsport. The contract with Lukoil is a strong sign of just how highly Atte's talent is ranked amongst the sport's main players. Lukoil and Atte are both aiming at Formula 1, and working together will significantly improve our chances of stepping up to the premier class," said Atte's manager Antti Heikkinen.
Testing for the 2008 British F3 season will commence on 19.2. The first race of the season will be at Easter, on 24.3. at Oulton Park.