PRESENTATION Pedro de la Rosa : Spain's bet for Formula One Pedro de la Rosa is internationally renowned as the leading Spanish motor racing driver on circuits. Six titles (four of them international ones) and 27 victories (*) in single...
Pedro de la Rosa : Spain's bet for Formula One
Pedro de la Rosa is internationally renowned as the leading Spanish motor racing driver on circuits. Six titles (four of them international ones) and 27 victories (*) in single seaters endorse him.
This impeccable career, forged over nine years of selfless dedication, has brought him to the threshold of Formula One. And not only this; his awards place him as a serious contender for triumph in motor sport's top category.
At the moment Pedro de la Rosa is competing in Japan, where he is taking part in two top level international championships, the Formula Nippon (F-3000) and the All-Japan GT (Grand Tourism) Championship. Half way through the season and Pedro has already won the 1997 Formula Nippon Championship with still three races left. In the GT series, Pedro is third and with two races left he has chances of becoming champion.
Pedro continues working to earn a place in the so-called "top formula" and with a very specific final objective: Triumph in Formula One.
He is Spain's bet for Formula One.
(*) As September 14th, 1997
* As by September 14th1997
1997 Winner of the 1997 Formula Nippon Championship with still three races left. 4 wins, 2 second places and 1 third in 7 races... Winner of Round 3 of All-Japan GT Championship (Sendai, 26/6)
1996 Took part in the Formula Nippon Championship. One second place and 6 top six finishes. Took part in the All-Japan GT Championship with Toyota Team Tom's. 2 podium finishes. Macau G.P. with Paul Stewart Racing.
1995 Winner of the All-Japan F-3 Championship with Tom's Toyota Racing Team. Sets new record of wins in the championship, in one season (8 poles, 8 wins and 1 second place, 4 fastest laps in 9 races). 3rd position at the Macau G.P. (F.I.A. F-3 World Cup).
1994 Took part in the British F-3 Championship, developing for Renault a new F-3 engine, again with West Surrey Racing Team. Pole Position in the Formula 3 World Cup (Donington)
1993 Placed 6th in the British Formula 3 C'ship with West Surrey Racing Team (2 podium finishes)
1992 European Champion of Formula Renault (2 wins) British Champion of Formula Renault (3 wins) Winner of the Privilege Formula-3 Festival
1991 Placed 4th in the Spanish Formula Renault Championship
1990 Spanish Champion of Formula Ford 1600 (8 wins) =46inalist in the Formula Ford Festival and Formula Ford World Cup
1989 Spanish Champion of Formula Fiat Uno (2 wins)
1997 FORMULA NIPPON SCHEDULE & RESULTS
27 April Suzuka Grid : 3rd Race : 1st 18 May Min=E9 Grid : 2nd Race : 1st 1 June Fuji Grid : 2nd Race : 2nd 6 July Suzuka Grid : 6th Race : 3rd 3 August Sugo Grid : Pole Race : 1st 31 August Fuji Grid : Pole Race : 1st + FL 14 Sept. Min=E9 Grid : 2nd Race : 2nd + FL & CHAMPION ! 28 Sept. Motegi 19 Oct. Fuji 9 Nov. Suzuka
Current standings : 1 - Pedro de la Rosa 56 points, 2- Takuya Kurosawa 22, 3- Hidetoshi Mitsusada 18, Norberto Fontana 17, Toranosuke Takagi 15,....
1997 ALL-JAPAN GT CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS
30 March Suzuka DNF - (driveshaft failure while running 2nd) 4 May Fuji 3rd 29 June Sendai 1st 10 August Fuji 2nd 5 October Min=E9 26 October Sugo
Current standings : 1 - Masami Kageyama 63 points. 2 - Tatsuya Tanigawa 48, 3 - Pedro de la Rosa and Michael Krumm 47, 4 - Aguri Suzuki 46 =8A
As most of drivers nowdays, Pedro (a native of Barcelona, Spain, aged 26) became interested in racing cars at a very early age. What makes him different from other young racing drivers is that not being able to compete in karting, he dedicated himself to radio-control competitions. His good performance enabled him to win two European Championships (overall) and to be Runner-up in the Absolute World Championship in the off-road category.
=46inally, at the age of 16 he convinced his father to buy him a kart and he began to compete in kart races in the Catalan Championship. He immediately distinguished himself by his speed and dedication. This made him worthy of selection by the Spanish Automobile Federation to take part in the 1989 "Ofensiva Uno" programme.
His debut in motor racing could not have been more promising since, in his first season, he won the Spanish F-Fiat Championship and the Federation's confidence to go ahead in the promotional operation called "Ofensiva Dos" (F-Ford 1600) and later to go on to the British F-Renault and F-3 ("Racing for Spain" programme) in which he gathered awards, experience and international recognition.
In 1995, after taking part for two seasons in the British F-3 Championship (both under guidance of F-3 guru, Dick Bennetts), Pedro decided to accept an offer from the prestigious Japanese team Tom's (known as the competition department of Toyota), to compete in the Japanese F-3 Championship. Despite knowing very little about motor-racing in Japan and its circuits, his ambicious and decided spirit led him to accept the challenge.
In Japan, from the first race he became the driver to be beaten, something which his Japanese rivals only managed to do in one race out of the nine of that year's Japanese series, and so he was proclaimed Champion by mid season.
His innate speed and the experience acquired in Great Britain and Japan, together with his dedication and professionalism, allowed him to win a further international title and thus open the gate to the Japanese F-3000, the fastest category after that of Formula 1. Even before the end of the season, the best F-3000 teams of Japan and Europe, where his Japanese achievements had not gone unnoticed, contacted him to secure his services for the 1996 season.
And, as the crowning point of his sensational year, Pedro won 3rd place in the prestigious Macau Grand Prix (Formula 3 F.I.A. World Cup), a race reserved for the 30 best F-3 drivers of the season, including all the National F-3 Champions. There he proved to be one of the fastest F-3 drivers of the year and beated all other National F-3 Champions at both qualifying and race.
1996 was a character building and learning year for Pedro. He competed in 10 Formula Nippon races (n=E9e Japanese F-3000), in 6 Japanese GT plus another try at the Macau G.P., this time courtesy of Paul Stewart Racing.
By the end of the season Pedro was among the drivers to be beaten in both championships and topped the list for 1997 of several team managers. Pedro, considering that the work done by both his Formula Nippon and GT teams would eventually bring succes soon, decided to stay with them for 1997 to improve the results obtained in 1996 (three rostrum finishes in total).
Pedro's choice paid off and by mid September (after seven races, with still three left) he has already won the 1997 Formula Nippon Championship thanks to four wins, two second places and a third (seven podium finishes in a row!). In the All-Japan GT series, (a championship full of former F-1 drivers) he is third after one win, a second place and a third place (after four races) and with two races left.
His target for this season is very clear : to win both championships and then to knock Formula One doors to get an opportunity.
He recently received a call from AMG-Mercedes to drive one of their works Mercedes CLK-GTR at R7 of the 1997 F.I.A. GT Endurance Championship (1000 Km. of Suzuka) but unfortunately it didn't come-up, due to a change of plans.
Apart from current Japanese sponsors, Pedro is strongly supported since 1990 by Spanish F1 G.P. organiser, Reial Autom=F2bil Club de Catalunya (R.A.C.C.). He is also supported by the Spanish Federation (Federaci=F3n Espa=F1ola de Automovilismo) and has strong links with Bridgestone (Spain an= d Japan) and other companies involved in Formula 1.
Additionally, in recent years, Pedro has developed a good relationship with senior staff of several companies currently involved in Formula One or interested in joining Formula 1 in a near future, both Spanish and International.
WHY COMPETE IN JAPAN?
Apart from being "fashionable" drivers in today's Formula One, what do Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Eddie Irvine, Mika Salo, Johnny Herbert, Ralph Schumacher and Sinji Nakano have in common? ... It is that all of them trained in the Japanese Formula 3000 before shining in F1.
Even "super champion" Michael Schumacher competed in two F-3000 races in Japan before his debut in F1.
In Japan, a motor-racing country par excellence, several championships, comparable with those of European countries, are contested. The professionalism and high technical level of these events have meant that many European and American drivers have chosen to pursue their own sporting careers in that country.
Bit by bit it has become apparent that the special characteristics of the Japanese championships make the drivers mature and gather more experience, especially for F1, to such a point that the engineers of this category prefer to work with drivers who have gone through the mill in Japan.
Pedro de la Rosa is one such driver. And, besides him, there are several other sure-fire prospects for the coming years; the Argentinean Norberto =46ontana (already a Grand Prix driver with Sauber F1), Ralf Firman Jr. (199= 6 British F-3 champion and Macau G.P. winer), Toranosuke Takagi (Tyrrell official tester) and drivers from Belgium, Argentina, Germany, Italy, =46inland...all set to follow the steps of 1996 F-Nippon champion, Ralf Schumacher, younger brother of the double champion, who competed in Japan counselled by his brother Michael, who considers this to be the most suitable spot in which to prepare himself to reach F1 with some guarantees.
And, if he says so, .......
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