NA: Gelles Racing signs Brandon Thomas

Brandon Thomas To Drive For Gelles March 2nd. -- London, Ontario resident Brandon Thomas announced today he will drive in the 2004 North American Formula Renault 2000 series with Virginia-based Gelles Racing team . Thomas, 21, who has raced...

Brandon Thomas To Drive For Gelles

March 2nd. -- London, Ontario resident Brandon Thomas announced today he will drive in the 2004 North American Formula Renault 2000 series with Virginia-based Gelles Racing team . Thomas, 21, who has raced in the United Kingdom Formula Renault championship last year, said he was joining Gelles after some testing at the Homestead --Miami racing facility two weeks ago. He will enter the North American series with at least three rounds taking place in Canada.

"I spent one day testing at Homestead while the short Winter series was taking place, said Thomas, but that was enough to realise how professional the crew was at Gelles and how competitive that series will be this year. There were drivers coming from Renault series from all over the world and the gap between their times on the track were minimal. I felt very comfortable with the Gelles car. Engineer Lolo Perdomo and I worked together to set up the car and I was in the Top Ten within a few laps."

Two years in UK

Brandon was a late bloomer in motorsport as he started karting in his late teens. After a complete season in the Rotax Max championship in England, he went on to UK Formula Renault in 2003. "Formula Renault in Europe was a tremendous learning curve for me, added this young citizen of the world who has lived in America, Europe and Asia. Motorsport in Europe is extremely competitive and any driver will developed his skills inside a few seasons or just forget racing at professional level. With Formula Renault coming to America, it's even better to race closer to home. We are going to race three times in Canada and I heard there was a possibility for Vancouver and Toronto. That would be great!" "We were very impressed with Brandon, continued team owner Bob Gelles. We gave him our spare car and he reeled in quick times lap after lap. Our engineer said he could communicate how the car handled on the track and work towards a better set-up. We think he will mix with the better drivers in this series."

The turning point

Brandon's conversion happened when he visited the Formula One Williams team with his father a few years ago. He was so impressed with (Sir) Frank Williams that he decided to follow in his footsteps and go as high as he could in the racing ladder. "I have so much respect for mister Williams, concludes Brandon, for what he has achieved that I really want to make a living out of racing. No need to say my favourite driver is Juan Pablo Montoya: I talked with him for a long moment and he is a wonderful person."

Brandon Thomas will join Gelles Racing for a few test days in mid-March before the season gets underway at the Phoenix International Raceway on April the 8th.

-gr-

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams