MANOR EXPANDS TO FOUR-CARS FOR 2007 F3 EUROSERIES TITLE BID Race-winning Formula 3 Euroseries team Manor Motorsport has confirmed it will expand to a four-car entry for the 2007 season, the Dinnington squad preparing to make a major bid for ...
MANOR EXPANDS TO FOUR-CARS FOR 2007 F3 EUROSERIES TITLE BID
Race-winning Formula 3 Euroseries team Manor Motorsport has confirmed it will expand to a four-car entry for the 2007 season, the Dinnington squad preparing to make a major bid for championship honours with an exciting line-up of international talent.
"It's going to be a very big year for Manor with our expansion to four cars but we're hopeful of a strong season and confident our four drivers will all enjoy a rewarding year", said team boss John Booth.
"Formula 3 Euroseries continues to be the strongest and most prestigious F3 championship in the world and we're aiming to break the ASM stranglehold. We have proven we can regularly win races at this level so the next step is to win the title and that's what we'll be aiming to do this season."
After joining Manor for last November's 53rd Macau F3 Grand Prix, Yorkshire teenager James Jakes will continue with the squad for the 2007 F3 Euroseries season and is tipped by many to shine brightly during the 22-round championship.
The 19-year-old BRDC Rising Star is confident of a strong season, having gained essential experience as part of the British Formula 3 Championship in 2006. Prior to this Jakes was a consistent front-runner in Formula Renault UK having originally burst onto the car racing scene in 2002 as part of the T-Car Championship.
Fellow British F3 convert Yelmer Buurman, who celebrates his 20th birthday today (19th February), will join Jakes at John Booth's team and the Dutchman -- who won two races in British F3 last season -- is looking forward to racing on the European stage in 2007.
After a successful karting career in his homeland, with a particular highlight being title success in the Dutch Rotax Max series in 2000, Buurman debuted in Formula Renault in 2003 where he became a race winner during the UK winter series and added further victories in the full 2005 Formula Renault UK Championship.
French sensation Franck Mailleux, who won the 2006 Formula Renault UK Winter Championship as a Manor driver with a perfect 100 per cent strike-rate of race victories during the four round series, climbs the ladder to Formula 3 competition with the Dinnington team and is hopeful of a strong debut season in the class.
The 21-year-old, who enjoyed a successful karting career prior to his first season of car racing in French Formula Renault in 2003, arrived in Britain at the beginning of 2006 and after ending his maiden season of Formula Renault UK 10th overall in the driver standings, a richly deserved and very popular title victory followed in the winter series.
Swiss starlet Cyndie Allemann, meanwhile, is currently set to be the sole female competitor on the F3 Euroseries grid this year. Graduating from German Formula 3, where she finished ninth overall in the championship and fifth in the rookie standings, Cyndie made her debut in cars in 2004 as part of the Swiss Formula Renault series.
After moving up to German Formula Renault the following season, she quickly became regarded as one of the hottest female drivers in single-seater competition and the 20-year-old is hopeful of a very strong season in F3 Euroseries with Manor this year.
"We obviously know James and Franck very well and we're delighted to be able to confirm them both as Manor drivers. Like James, Yelmer and Cyndie obviously have F3 experience while for Franck the year will mark a step up from Formula Renault but all four are very promising young drivers, it should be an exciting year", commented Booth.
In-line with the expansion of Manor's Formula 3 operation at the squad's Dinnington base, the team's Formula Renault UK arm is now run from premises at New Ollerton in Nottinghamshire. Owned as well as managed by Tony Shaw, the Formula Renault squad will run under the banner Manor Competition from this season.
While both entities will continue to share a very close link, for John Booth the sale of his Formula Renault UK assets to team stalwart Shaw was a logical step for the future of Manor and great things are expected of both squads in 2007.
The F3 Euroseries has been expanded to a 22-round championship this year with the inclusion of Mugello, Italy, on the calendar in mid-July. Hockenheim in Germany will host the season-opening event on 21st/22nd April with 2007 venues to include Brands Hatch, UK, Germany's Nurburgring, Catalunya in Spain and Magny-Cours in France.
Away from its regular slot on the DTM 'Deutsche Touring Masters' package, the F3 Euroseries will continue to enjoy Formula 3's two traditional non-championship blue riband events, the BP Ultimate Masters at Zandvoort and the Macau F3 Grand Prix.
Manor Motorsport's first F3 Euroseries test of the season will take place at Estoril in Portugal on Thursday, 15th March.