UK: SWR sign Tom Horley

SWR sign Tom Horley; Karting Graduate joins Formula BMW UK Team Tom Horley will make his car racing debut with Team SWR in the 2005 Formula BMW UK Championship. The 18-year-old from Hertfordshire -- who turns 19 before the season opener and will...

SWR sign Tom Horley; Karting Graduate joins Formula BMW UK Team

Tom Horley will make his car racing debut with Team SWR in the 2005 Formula BMW UK Championship. The 18-year-old from Hertfordshire -- who turns 19 before the season opener and will therefore not be eligible for the Rookie Class -- has already impressed greatly in his first tests. Horley joined his 2005 team-mates Matt Harris and Lars Viljoen in an open test at Pembrey last week, and was within a second of the pace despite being substantially less experienced than the other competitors present. The test marked Horley's first ever run in a racing car, and he was sharing the track with established single-seater racers and drivers with extensive prior testing mileage.

"I think Tom is going to surprise a lot of people," said SWR Team Principal Trevor Powell. "Considering this was the first time in his life he had driven a racing car, he was extremely impressive at Pembrey. J"Tom was only just over a second slower than the pacesetting drivers, all of whom had plenty of Formula BMW experience. His mental approach was also very encouraging -- he was very composed and didn't get over-awed by the situation. We're very pleased with him already."

Horley has been karting since 1996, and showed tremendous promise in Champions of the Future and Junior Intercontinental A competition in his early teens. A broken hand in 2000 and a subsequent lack of budget affected the momentum of Tom's career but not his fundamental talent -- as he hopes to prove now he finally has the chance to make his single-seater debut in Formula BMW.

"The test went very well and I improved with each lap," said Horley. "I am starting to feel really at home in the car and hope to be right on the pace by the first official test. I can't wait!" JTeam SWR may yet add a fourth Formula BMW to its line-up prior to the season-opener at Donington Park in April, as the team remains in discussion with a number of well known single-seater drivers interested in racing for the squad. Discussions are also ongoing regarding a potential third driver for Team SWR's inaugural National Class British F3 programme.

-www.TeamSWR.com.

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Series Formula BMW