SG Formula sets course for Formula 3 Euro Series
SG Formula will be taking up a new challenge in 2008 after deciding to enter two cars in Formula 3 Euro Series. The La Rochelle based team will therefore be present in two of the key areas in the Motor Sport hierarchy - Formula Renault 2.0, which is THE training ground for emerging talent coming through from karting, and Formula 3, which is a trampoline towards top class international racing.
The three pillars on which the team is built are as follows.
Team-Manager Stephane Guerin, who is the founder of the team that bears his initials. Since the inception of the team, Stephane has provided ample demonstration of the enviable knack he possesses for efficient management and for developing young talent.
"Moving into Formula 3 Euro Series racing is a natural step for both the team and the company; we have been working towards this and now I believe we have the stature for it. I have every faith in the talent and dedication of everyone involved in the project. Our engineers and mechanics have been with the team for a long time now. Gerard Paviot, Thibaut de Merindol and myself complement each other perfectly and this is exactly what we need going forward, as we strive for our main objective, which has always been to shape young drivers into winners and future champions. The best way to learn is to pit your strength against the best and I'm sure that's exactly what we will be facing in Formula 3 Euro Series racing next season. In my opinion this is the hardest championship outside Formula 1 racing, because the manufacturers take it very seriously and you have to have a proper strategy for human resources management and R&D."
Financial Director Gerard Paviot joined the team at the end of 2006. This highly rated manager has put SG Formula on a solid financial footing, enabling it to face the next hurdle in its development with confidence.
"Before taking this decision we looked very carefully at all aspects of the business. The team's professionalism and know-how allied to its sense of values and track record makes this the logical next step. Given the structure we have put in place and the means we possess today, along with the undisputed talent of Stephane and Thibaut, I feel sure we are going to do well in Formula 3."
Right from the start of the SG adventure Chief engineer Thibaut de Merindol has been pivotal to the team's technical prowess. "I'm delighted. Although I've already got experience in Formula 3, I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. What I particularly like about this category is that it is not single-make, and there is more scope for an engineer to make the difference."
SG Formula has been winning races since its first season in 2004 when its trio of drivers Yann Clairay, Guillaume Moreau and Romain Grosjean notched up victories in the French Formula Renault 2.0 Championship and in the Eurocup. Grosjean was French Formula Renault champion in 2005, racing for SG Formula, and he is the recently crowned F3 Euro Series champion. Other former SG Formula drivers have met with success on the international stage this season, such as Franck Mailleux, Carlo Van Dam, Tom Dillmann, Julien Jousse and Jean-Karl Vernay. The team has just won its second national title in Formula Renault with Jules Bianchi at the wheel, while Jon Lancaster and Charles Pic have been picking up victories and pole positions in Europe.
Going into the last meeting of the season, SG Formula boasts a total of 41 outright wins, 45 pole positions, 119 podium places, five teams' titles and two drivers' championship titles in the four years it has been racing.
It has not yet been decided who will drive the French team's F3 cars. "Obviously we would prefer to promote drivers with whom we have already worked. They like the project and they know us well. Nothing has been decided yet but I get the impression there are more takers than leavers!" concluded Stephane Guerin, who hopes to announce the names of his two drivers within the next three weeks.