KNIGHT EMBARKS ON INTERNATIONAL MOTOR RACING CAMPAIGN Christchurch driver Andy Knight is the latest New Zealand racing driver to receive an opportunity to compete internationally. Knight is on his way to the United States to compete in the ...
KNIGHT EMBARKS ON INTERNATIONAL MOTOR RACING CAMPAIGN
Christchurch driver Andy Knight is the latest New Zealand racing driver to receive an opportunity to compete internationally.
Knight is on his way to the United States to compete in the Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 Series which begins at the Road Atlanta circuit in Braselton, Georgia this weekend.
The series is contested over seven rounds and Knight will drive a Van Diemen for the highly regarded G.FRO Team.
The 2006 series has attracted a top class field with drivers from around the globe lining up to compete. Drivers to graduate from the series in the past include Indianapolis 500 winners Buddy Rice and Dan Wheldon plus Indy Racing League Champion Sam Hornish Jnr.
Alumni from other Formula Ford 2000 Series around the world include World Formula 1 Champions Ayrton Senna and Damon Hill.
"I'm really looking forward to the series" said Knight prior to his departure. "There are some talented drivers in the championship from all over the world so it is bound to be very competitive. I can't wait until the first round to try and get some results on the board". The Van Diemen that Knight will drive has similar levels of grip to the Powerbuilt Tatuus he drove to third place in the recently completed Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand, but less power.
Knight has made two trips to the United States to test his championship car and has made gains each time. "I've tested at Road Atlanta, scene of the opening round and Buttonwillow Raceway, a test circuit", he say's. "I have found the American circuits to be very different to what I am used to here in New Zealand".
Road Atlanta, venue for the opening round of the championship this weekend is set on hilly terrain with twelve turns in a 2.54 mile lap.
The series appears on the same bill as the prestigious Champ Car Series on four occasions and the American Le Mans Series at three of the rounds.
Geoff Fickling, the team owner of G.FRO say's, "we're really pleased to have Andy join our team this season. We knew he was going to be talented considering his most recent success in New Zealand and so far in pre-season testing he's been really quick. I think the more seat-time he gets in these cars the more comfortable he will be in knowing what the car will bring to him. Our last test at Buttonwillow Raceway proved it and we feel quite confident heading into the start of the season".
Knight, who only recently turned twenty, will return to New Zealand whenever there is a gap in his American racing schedule.
The young driver has fashioned a successful career in New Zealand finishing in the top three in the country's premier single seater championship, the Toyota Racing Series, for the last two years. Knight was also the runner - up in the 2004/2005 New Zealand Formula Ford Championship. In 2004 he crossed the line second in the New Zealand Grand Prix, just 0.013 seconds behind the winner.
Knight's New Zealand sponsor's Powerbuilt Tools, Century Batteries and South Canterbury Toyota have all wished him well for his international season.