F3

Italia: Gianmarco Raimondo 2010 season preview

GIANMARCO RAIMONDO 2010 PREVIEW Young Canadian open wheel racer Gianmarco Raimondo heads to Europe to contest the 2010 Formula 3 Italia Championship St. Catharines, Ontario -- Gianmarco Raimondo, the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Rookie...

GIANMARCO RAIMONDO 2010 PREVIEW

Young Canadian open wheel racer Gianmarco Raimondo heads to Europe to contest the 2010 Formula 3 Italia Championship

St. Catharines, Ontario -- Gianmarco Raimondo, the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Rookie Champion, continued to impress in 2009 and now takes another step in the formula car racing ladder system as he heads to Europe to take on the very challenging Formula 3 Italia Series. The series offers competitive racing every weekend at some of Europe's best tracks and provides one of the most coveted prizes in all of formula car racing. The top three drivers in the championship receive an official test day with the Ferrari F1 team at the end of the season. The series has been operating since 1964 and has had such drivers as Giancarlo Fisichella as series champion in 1994.

"Last year was a great year for me. Even though the year didn't go as well as I planned, I still have no regrets and have learned from all of my results," comments Raimondo. "Winning in Mosport on home turf ended the season on a high note and is also a plus to my motivation for the following year. Formula BMW was a great learning and competitive series from which I have gained a lot of experience."

Awarded 2009 Formula BMW Americas Junior Scholarship, Raimondo took one victory in 2009 at Mosport, the only Canadian stop on the Formula BMW America calendar. Raimondo was also able to rack up nine podiums and one pole position en route to grabbing 3rd place in overall championship. As the North American schedule ended Raimondo headed for Europe to test the Formula 3 Italia program with Team Corbetta/Minardi at the Autodromo Vallelunga, Italy. Part of the testing would see Gmo compete in Formula 3 Italia races at Autodromo Vallelunga grabbing 11th spot in Round One and backing that up with a 10th place finish in Round Two. An excellent first outing solidified Gmo's focus on the Formula 3 series to make the next step in his racing career.

"I also had a European experience as well. I could have only dreamed to be racing Formula 3 in Italy when I started. Now that we've made that a reality, it's like a dream come true," smiles Raimondo. "My first race in Italy didn't really put any pressure on me because I felt like I was right where I wanted to be. Even though it was a faster car and different environment, I felt very comfortable."

Raimondo recently signed with the Lucidi Motors Team, who began racing in 1991 winning the Italian Formula Alfa Boxer Championship in the debut season with the driver Fabio Aries. In 1992 that success was repeated with the victory of Andrea Boldrini in the same championship. 2008 was a turning point for Italian Formula 3 series thanks to the adoption of new chassis and Fiat Power Train Technologies Racing engines. Lucidi Team entered three cars and saw victory immediately as Mirko Bortolotti was crowned the new Italian Champion thanks to nine victories, five 2nd place finishes and one 3rd place finish.

"I am very anxious to get back into the car. As a driver, I always to get back in the car as soon as I step out of it. However, I have been preparing for this upcoming season, as it is probably the most important season of my life. I love the racing in Italy so I don't feel too much pressure, despite that it will be a tough year and will involve a lot of dedication and persistence", comments Raimondo. "I am on a good team, which helps tremendously and have established a good and lasting relationship with a crew that gives me the tools to get the job done. On top of that, I am very excited to be living in Italy near the team and growing as a person as well as a driver. I feel it will be a great experience for me and a new chapter in my life will begin."

Throughout the years, there have been various engine suppliers to the Formula 3 Italia series such as Ford, Toyota, Alfa Romeo, Volkswagen, Opel, Honda, and now Fiat. Raimondo will compete in the full Formula 3 Italia Series, which consists of 16 races run over 8 race weekends. The races take place in:

Misano, Italy on 25/04/2010
Hockenheim, Germany on 13/06/2010
Imola, Italy on 04/07/2010
Varano, Italy on 29/08/2010
Vallelunga, Italy on 26/09/2010
Mugello, Italy on 10/10/2010
Monza, Italy on 24/10/2010

There is still one race to be announced which takes place on the 1st of August. All races of the Italian Formula 3 Championship will be broadcasted live on the satellite channel Nuvolari (SKY 218), which boasts 249,000 viewers per day and reaches more than 3 million homes. So far 12 teams have signed up to run next season with an estimated 25 drivers taking to the track for 2010. Race fan can follow all the racing action of the Formula 3 Italia Series by visiting www.f3italia.it to view races online.

Gianmarco Raimondo completed two seasons as a Formula BMW Americas Junior Driver, winning the coveted Junior Scholarship in 2007 and taking the 2008 Formula BMW Americas Rookie Championship thus making him a double BMW scholarship winner. He also placed 3rd in the overall Championship both years in the BMW series. Gmo was born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada and is building a strong on track racing resume along with off track appearances and special event programs.

-source: gianmarco raimondo

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