Lively and loyal - that's Lancaster, Waldschmidt and Caldarelli It's not something you see very often at this level so it is worth noting that these three drivers, who have all raced for the La Rochelle outfit before, will be lining up again for...
Lively and loyal - that's Lancaster, Waldschmidt and Caldarelli
It's not something you see very often at this level so it is worth noting that these three drivers, who have all raced for the La Rochelle outfit before, will be lining up again for SG Formula next season in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Dutchman Henkie Waldschmidt and Italian Andrea Caldarelli, both members of the Toyota Driver Program, are staying with Stephane Guerin's team. Waldschmidt, who was part of the F3 team in 2008, starts the new season full of ambition, while category rookie Caldarelli joins them after claiming 18 Formula Renault 2.0 podium finishes at the wheel of an SG Formula-entered car. Finally, SG Formula is delighted to welcome back Briton Jon Lancaster who raced to the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup vice- champion's crown with them in 2007.
SG Formula was one of the first teams to secure their 2009 line up; all the drivers booked took part in last autumn's tests. That says a lot for this young team which, until just a year ago, had never taken part in a Formula 3 race. Since then SG Formula has taken podium honours on three occasions and twice clocked fastest lap in the race. Getting onto the front line of the grid in Barcelona also counts as one of the highlights of the team's maiden F3 Euro Series campaign.
Four months ahead of the opening race of the season, Stephane Guerin filled us in on his team's strategy and the targets it has set for itself. "We are keeping faith with Dallara for the chassis and Mercedes-HWA for the power unit. But we are making a lot of changes to the configuration of our cars, and we're working hard on the gearbox, too. Romain Grosjean (editor's note: Formula Renault 2.0 French Champion with SG Formula and current Renault F1 primary test and reserve driver) gave us a big hand during closed season testing. The big difference this season compared to last is that we are ready. This year we are not rookies anymore; our aim in F3 is to be amongst the front-runners a lot more often. To achieve that aim we have to progress on the technical side but we also have to help our drivers to improve. On that front we are proud to have retained the confidence of the Toyota Driver Program, which serves as the junior team for the world's biggest car manufacturer. With a partner like that we are duty bound to perform well. So this year we'll be expecting a lot more from Henkie Waldschmidt. His talent and turn of speed are not in dispute but now it's up to him to make experience count. Andrea Caldarelli has adapted well to the team's methods in Formula Renault 2.0, but he's not lost an ounce of his Italian passion. So much the better, because that's the stuff of champions. The other good news this winter is the return of Jon Lancaster, who has already added a few strings to his bow with us. At the end of the 2007 season he won six out or eight races - he was unbeatable!"