FR3.5 squad Draco announces closure
Championship-winning Formula Renault 3.5 team International Draco Racing has confirmed it is shutting its doors.
The Italian squad, founded back in 1989, had won a number of titles in Auto GP predecessor Euro Formula 3000 before focussing on Formula Renault 3.5.
It has remained a part of the series since Renault's entry in 2005 and won the 2009 drivers' title with current Super Formula driver Bertrand Baguette, his teammate Marco Barba helping Draco to a teams' crown for the Italian squad as well.
Purchased by Guto Negrao in 2011 as his son Andre entered the category, the team has announced it is bowing out of motorsport in an official statement.
"The last four years have been incredible," Negrao said. "Draco had a long history even before my arrival, and for me it has been an honour to be part of it.
"Unfortunately, the social and economic conditions changed dramatically over the last few years and the prerequisites for me to continue in this role are not there anymore."
The team's most recent wins in FR3.5 came courtesy of current DTM driver Nico Muller, who won at Monte Carlo and the Hungaroring in 2013.
"I will always remember the win we scored at Monte Carlo in front of the Formula 1 fans and insiders," Negrao said. "It has been a privilege for me to be the first owner of a Brazilian team to accomplish that task."
The Draco squad was part of the provisional teams' entry list for the RPM-run Formula 3.5 successor. Its exit brings the team count back to 10, which leaves room for two new entries.
"I want to thank all the people who contributed to this project, and for everything that has been done," said team manager Simone Giglio, who had taken over from founder Nadia Morini in 2012. "I thank the everybody who followed me with total commitment from the first to the last day.
"I am proud of the fact that the team of people who started this adventure is the same that followed it until its closure."
Rubens Barrichello, Ricardo Zonta, Bruno Junqueira, Felipe Massa, Augusto Farfus, Pastor Maldonado and Markus Winkelhock were among the names run by Draco over its 26-year span in motorsport.
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