Manor Motorsport, the most successful team in Formula Renault UK Championship history, has completed its 2002 driver line-up with the signing of exciting teenage Venezuelan talent Ernesto Viso (Caracas). With a long list of karting titles in his...
Manor Motorsport, the most successful team in Formula Renault UK Championship history, has completed its 2002 driver line-up with the signing of exciting teenage Venezuelan talent Ernesto Viso (Caracas).
With a long list of karting titles in his native Venezuela and South America, Viso, who will only turn 17 a week before the season starts at Brands Hatch, Kent, on Easter Monday, 1st April, comes to the UK highly-rated. In 2001, he achieved exceptional results at California's world-famous Skip Barber racing school and also finished fifth overall in the Italian Formula Renault winter series.
His team-mates will include Manor's promising Irish driver from 2001, Matthew Griffin (Glanmire), last year's Formula Ford Zetec series runner-up, American Patrick Long (Oak Park, USA), and world karting ace, Briton Lewis Hamilton (Tewin).
Griffin, aged 20, will be aiming to turn strong performances in 2001 - which culminated in a front-row starting grid position for the final round at Brands Hatch - into a full title campaign.
However, fellow 20-year-old Long is also being tipped as a championship favourite after coming within two points of winning Ford's senior and most competitive series in 2001.
Meanwhile, McLaren Formula One team protege Hamilton, just turned 17, can be expected to build on the stunning speed he showed with Manor in November's Formula Renault winter championship.
The 2002 season is critical to Manor as it seeks to win back the title it had held since 1997 but lost last year to Motaworld Racing. John Booth, boss of the team, based in Dinnington, South Yorkshire, commented: "We're delighted with our drivers - it is a brilliant line-up, one of our best ever. We all saw Matt and, to an extent, Lewis's potential with us last year, while both Patrick and Ernesto have gone extremely well in initial tests with us.
"Without a doubt, the level of competition now in Formula Renault, with new teams and an exceptionally high level of young driving talent moving into championship, means the racing this season is going to be terrific. Whoever wins the title will have truly deserved it."