Reigning German F3 champion moves to Japanese championship Toyota Team TOM's signs Dutchman Carlo van Dam GOTEMBA - Dutchman Carlo van Dam has joined Toyota Team TOM's to contest the 2008 Japanese Formula 3 Championship. 21-year old Carlo, who...
Reigning German F3 champion moves to Japanese championship
Toyota Team TOM's signs Dutchman Carlo van Dam
GOTEMBA - Dutchman Carlo van Dam has joined Toyota Team TOM's to contest the 2008 Japanese Formula 3 Championship. 21-year old Carlo, who won the 2007 German Formula 3 series, signed a contract with Toyota Team TOM's earlier this month and has already moved to Gotemba in Japan, where the Toyota Works F3 team is based. Early February he will test his new Dallara-Toyota for the first time at the Fuji circuit located close to Gotemba. The Japanese Formula 3 championship this year comprises 18 rounds, while Carlo will also race in the prestigious Macau F3 Grand Prix.
Toyota Team TOM's has won the Japanese Formula 3 title for the last three years and also triumphed in the Macau Grand Prix at the end of 2007. During that event the team took note of Carlo van Dam. "After winning the German championship I was invited by an Austrian team to do Macau", Carlo explains. "As a result of my performance there I was approached by Mr. Susumi Koumi of TOM's. Last week I arrived in Japan and we finalised the deal. TOM's and Toyota are two big and highly respected names in international motor sport and for me their offer is a great reward for my achievements so far. I am very motivated to make the best of the opportunity they have provided me with.
Carlo, a former European karting champion, finished third in the European Formula Renault series before moving to Formula 3 last year. As the reigning German champion he is now among the favourites for the Japanese title. "Obviously I am ambitious, also because I race for one of the best F3 teams in the business. I am impressed with their working methods. I already like living here, but of course I look forward to testing the car for the first time early next month, for then the season really starts."
Susumu Koumi: "TOM's are very pleased to have Carlo van Dam as our driver to defend our Formula 3 championship title and Macau GP victory from last year. It may be a hard challenge for him to compete in a completely different racing environment here in Japan, but we are sure Carlo will do a great job for us.
The Japanese Formula 3 championship already produced some highly successful drivers, including seventime Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve and current F1 drivers Adrian Sutil (champion with TOM's in 2006) en Kazuki Nakajima. Carlo is not the first Dutch TOM's driver: Jan Lammers raced their (Toyota) sport cars and Tom Coronel was part of their F3 team.
Carlo will test at Fuji on February 7 and 8 and is presented to the Japanese media on February 9 during the official presentation of Toyota Team TOM's. His Japanese team mates are F3 newcomers Takuto Iguchi and Keisuke Kunimoto, who are both part of the Toyota Drivers Program. On April 5 and 6 Fuji will host the first two rounds of the 2008 season.