OAK PARK, Calif. - Patrick Long, the young American driving star who finished second in last year's British Formula Ford title chase, has signed with the powerful Manor Motorsports team to challenge for the 2002 British Formula Renault ...
OAK PARK, Calif. - Patrick Long, the young American driving star who finished second in last year's British Formula Ford title chase, has signed with the powerful Manor Motorsports team to challenge for the 2002 British Formula Renault championship.
Manor Motorsports, based in Sheffield, England, has a strong record of success in both Formula Renault and Formula 3. Finnish sensation Kimi Raikkonen, now driving for McLaren Formula One, captured the 2000 British Formula Renault championship in a Manor-prepared car. Raikkonen moved straightaway from Formula Renault to F1.
Long made history last season in British Formula Ford, winning three races and narrowly losing the championship at the last turn of the last race. Still, his runner-up position was the highest ever achieved by an American in British Formula Ford, acknowledged as the most competitive junior series in the world.
"I am very excited to be joining a team with the track record of Manor Motorsports," Long said from his home in Harrold, England, outside of Milton-Keynes. "This is an terrific opportunity for me to take another step up the European racing ladder towards Formula One. But the competition will be tough, with my teammates and with the other competitors. I'm looking forward to working hard, going quick, and winning some races!"
This year's Formula Renault grid of 36 drivers is believed by many to be the richest ever in depth of talent. In total, nine nationalities are represented: Australia, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, USA and Venezuela.
In total, 13 rounds will be held at 11 race meetings at the country's eight leading circuits: Brands Hatch, Thruxton, Oulton Park, Silverstone, Croft, Snetterton, Knockhill and Donington Park, where the season will climax with a double-race meeting on 21st/22nd September. The racing kicks off April 1st at Brands Hatch.