WALKINSHAW GRADUATES TO FORMULA RENAULT BARC WITH HILLSPEED
Sean Walkinshaw, son of the late Tom Walkinshaw, today confirms he will graduate to car racing in 2011 after signing a deal to compete in the Formula Renault BARC Championship with title-winning team Hillspeed.
Prior to his tragic passing, Walkinshaw Snr had worked closely with his son to determine the correct path for his motor racing career. Both agreed Formula Renault BARC would be the most suitable option, as would a partnership with Hillspeed.
The 17-year-old car racing rookie is an impressive addition to the Derbyshire squad's line-up and he will be looking to make a big impact during his maiden season with the team which guided Alice Powell to championship glory last year.
With limited karting experience, Walkinshaw made his single-seater test debut in November as part of the Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain 'Sampler Day' at Rockingham. But after meeting with Hillspeed team principal Richard Ollerenshaw prior to Christmas, the decision has been taken to begin his car racing career in the realms of 'slicks and wings' competition.
"We're confident Formula Renault BARC is the best place for me to begin my single-seater career and where better to learn than with the reigning champions?", said Walkinshaw, "Hopefully it'll be a strong year and we'll enjoy some good success together."
Coinciding with the opening day of the 2011 Autosport International Show at Birmingham's NEC, the announcement of Walkinshaw's deal with Hillspeed doubles the team's Formula Renault BARC line up with the squad having already signed Formula Ford graduate Zaamin Jaffer. The champion team is also in discussion with several other drivers regarding the coming season.
Richard Ollerenshaw commented: "We're absolutely delighted to have secured Sean's signature on a deal for 2011, we're confident he and Zaamin (Jaffer) will make a great pairing and we're still talking to a number of other drivers for the new season too.
"We're determined to give Sean the best possible start to his career in single-seaters and to provide the same environment which helped us win the Formula Renault BARC title last year. It's a superb start to 2011 for Hillspeed with both Sean and Zaamin already on-board."
Donington Park National Circuit will host the opening two rounds of the 2011 Formula Renault BARC season on 23rd/24th April. The championship will then visit Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Croft and Thruxton before coming to a conclusion at Silverstone National Circuit, as part of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship support package, on 15th/16th October.