Dutton: "We want to carry on with our victories"
Fortec Motorsport was established by Richard Dutton in 1996 and has recently been announced as a new team in the World Series by Renault championships, after winning the 2006 Formula Renault 2.0 British championship. Team principal Richard Dutton is looking forward to another victorious campaign in 2007. Fortec will be competing both in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 and the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0!
World Series Formula Renault 3.5 becomes your top category amongst the different championships you will contest in 2007. What are your expectations for your first campaign in the World Series?
"Well, we want to carry on being a successful team, carry on wining. It will be our first year but our expectations are high!"
How many people will you enrol for the team?
"We are still planning our staff. Peter Crolla is in charge of the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 project and he is in discussions with our Chief Engineer to organise everything."
Will any of your 2006 top drivers be in the line-up for the World Series Formula Renault 3.5?
"That was the idea, but I don't think it will be possible this year. Our idea is to create a "staircase" challenge, so our drivers can step up with us. We pick up our drivers from Karting and we put them in a Formula Renault 2.0 car and the idea with the World Series is that maybe we can consider one driver doing the full job, going from the entry-level formulas to a top-level category."
Heikki Kovalainen became the Formula Renault 2.0 UK winner with Fortec and he is still very close to you. How do you think he's going to do in his first year in Formula One?
"He will be a big surprise for a lot of people, but not for Renault, of course! We picked him up from Karting and we put him in a Formula Renault for the first time. Actually, you could say that he has grown up with Renault as a professional driver. He's got talent and ability, and he is a very capable person. For sure, he is a future champion."
From all the teams in the 2007 World Series championship, which one will be the title contender in your opinion?
"I have a lot of respect for Carlin Motorsport. We had great battles in the past in other categories and of course I see them as a real contender. They are extremely professional. I mean, Comtec Racing has done a good job this year, but if I had to look for a rival, it would be Carlin for me! I'm looking forward to see what happens in the first race."
Having succeeded in the Formula Renault 2.0 UK, the Eurocup looks like a natural progression for the team as well.
"Yes, of course we are keen to take part in this new category for us. Just like with the World Series Formula Renault 3.5, our expectations are very high and we want to be in the battle to win the championship."