CLASS OF 2009 STEPS UP FOR 2010
After a second successful year of many podium results, the Racing Steps Foundation has committed to a third year with two of the beneficiaries stepping up to higher formulae. After a cracking first season in World Series by Renault 3.5, Oliver Turvey is now testing with iSport for a full season in GP2 next year while Vice Champion of the Formula Renault 2.0 Championship James Calado, has already tested with Carlin to compete in the 2010 British International Formula 3 Championship.
Multiple award winner Oliver Turvey has had an action-packed first season in WSR with a few mechanical failures preventing him from challenging for the outright title, but perhaps the high point of his year was the pole position and outright win at Monaco in front of the assembled masses of the Formula 1 'circus'. With two final races to go at Aragon in Spain 25th October, Oliver currently lies joint 5th in the Championship. Oliver will also run in the GP2 Asia Series starting at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of the month before starting the European GP2 Main Series in 2010.
James Calado who has just been shortlisted for the 2009 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver award, only narrowly missed the FR 2.0 Championship at Brands Hatch on 4th October. In his second FR season he scored the most wins (8), pole positions (10), fastest race laps (7) and lap records (4).
Graham Sharp of the RSF: "This has been a very satisfying year with all beneficiaries making good progress. Both Oliver and James have consistently demonstrated their exceptional talent and I have no hesitation in extending RSF support to them in 2010. Again we have chosen top teams to partner in this initiative and we look forward to working with iSport in GP2".
Also confirmed, Jack Harvey will again contend the Formula BMW Europe championship in 2010 with Fortec. In his formative year in single seaters, Jack made his mark finishing seventh in the Championship and second rookie of the year. With only 16 races in the European series, Jack was also a guest entrant in the two-race Formula BMW Pacific event in Singapore on 27th September.
"The RSF programme has now been developed to a fine degree" comments Derek Walters, the Foundation's administrative chief. "While there is pressure for results, all beneficiaries are given every assistance to meet the highest levels of personal fitness and to maintain their educational standards. The RSF approach is for a rounded and comprehensive programme to ensure a balanced training regime while not ignoring any of the vital needs of young racing drivers. We now look forward to a period of testing to make sure all drivers can start the new season from positions of strength".
Details of the RSF's support for karters will be announced at a later date. The Foundation is working closely with Martin Hines to ensure consistency of selection and to identify the right talent.
The Racing Steps Foundation is a unique initiative established to help young motor racing hopefuls to fulfil their dreams of succeeding perhaps to the highest level of all, the FIA Formula 1 Grand Prix Championship. Specifically, the RSF exists to help those young British drivers whose talent might not be realised due to lack of funds. A not-for-profit, privately funded initiative, 2010 will be the third year for the RSF.
With the RSF ambassador John Surtees OBE, karting 'guru' Martin Hines and its partner teams, the Foundation selects candidates for the programme on an objective, performance-related basis working with the RSF's administration, Worldsport Management Ltd.