Reigning Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship winning outfit Team BRM has today confirmed a significant expansion of its Formula 3 program for the 2007 racing season. Continuing its successful policy of attracting international...
Reigning Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship winning outfit Team BRM has today confirmed a significant expansion of its Formula 3 program for the 2007 racing season.
Continuing its successful policy of attracting international drivers to the domestic Formula 3 Championship, the team is pleased to confirm that it has secured 19-year-old Italian driver Macro Mapelli to drive the #4 John Deere / Gawler Farm Machinery Dallara F304 - Spiess.
Team BRMs second car -- driven at times last year by both Jason Vince and Laurent LePage -- is set to be on track from the second round of the championship onwards, with a driver announcement forthcoming.
The team is also pleased to announce a new relationship with the PHR / Audi Centre Melbourne team comprising West Aussie Stuart Kostera and Indonesian businessman Maher Algadri.
Kostera and Algadri's cars will be prepared and run by Team BRM for the duration of the 2007 season, Kostera emerging as a potential title favorite after a string of stunning performances at the conclusion of the 2006 racing season.
The team will also assist Chris Alajajian's racing program at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event as well as the Non-Championship round at the Formula 1 ING Australian Grand Prix in March.
Mapelli comes to the team from a highly successful career in the developmental ranks of Italian and European karting and Formula Renault.
Born in Seregno, in the north of Italy, Mapelli began his karting career in 1999 and has since gone on to amass a number of race wins and championship podiums in many European Karting Championships: including 3rd in the 100cc junior class of the 2001 European Championship, where he was judged best Italian driver.
Mapelli was a factory driver for the Birel karting company from 2001 to 2003.
His progression to cars came in 2004, when he was selected as one of six talented Italian youngsters to test a number of different cars (Touring and Single Seaters) at the Vallelunga circuit. Judges on the selection panel included Giancarlo Minardi, Ivan Capelli and Emanuele Pirro.
In his first year of car racing, Marco finished 5th in the Italian Formula Renault 1.6 championship (out of 26 cars) despite missing the final round.
Stuart Kostera, from Perth, looks to be a championship contender in 2007 after finishing the 2006 season with three podium finishes and three fastest laps from the final four races of the year.
The 1999 Australian Formula Ford Championship rookie of the year sat on the sidelines for a number of years before joining the Formula 3 field mid way through the 2006 season. Kostera will complete the full season in 2007.
Alajajian has a number of Formula 3 race wins to his credit and finished third in the championship in 2005.
Team BRM owner Bronte Rundle said that the team was excited to have its plans in place for what is shaping up to be a competitive 2007 season for Australia's premier Open Wheel championship.
"We are very pleased to be able to confirm Marco Mapelli as one of our drivers for season 2007," Rundle said.
"It looks like we've started a trend with what we achieved with Ben Clucas last season. Marco looks to be a very talented young driver and we are looking forward to working with him as he tackles his first year as a Formula 3 driver.
"Similarly, we are also very pleased to have reached an agreement with the PHR team to run cars for both Maher Algadri and Stuart Kostera," he added.
"Stuart was perhaps one of the surprise packages of last season and I'm confident that with out proven success in the past, he too will be a championship contender this year. The team is also more than happy to work with Chris Alajajian for the first couple of events - Chris is an exciting young driver and we're going to do everything we can to make sure his car is at the front in the events it contests."
To cater for its enlarged driver lineup this year, Team BRM is also happy to confirm the signing of engineer / mechanic Phil Meynelle to its technical roster.
Meynelle comes to the team with vast experience in many forms of Motorsport, including a recent stint as Simon Wills' chief mechanic at Team Dynamik. Meynelle also has experience working alongside team BRMs chief engineer Marcus Koch in European Formula Renault, as well as a