FINNISH ACE MAKELA SIGNS SURPRISE MANOR DEAL Valle Makela, 2004 UK Formula Ford Champion, has been officially confirmed as Manor Motorsport's fourth challenger in the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship having made a shock switch from Nexa...
FINNISH ACE MAKELA SIGNS SURPRISE MANOR DEAL
Valle Makela, 2004 UK Formula Ford Champion, has been officially confirmed as Manor Motorsport's fourth challenger in the 2006 Formula Renault UK Championship having made a shock switch from Nexa Racing after just two races of the new season.
The 20-year-old, who approached Dinnington-based Manor following the opening meeting of the year at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit last month, this week signed a deal to complete his first season in the slicks and wings category with the reigning champions and is now confident of becoming a true force in the world renowned series.
After becoming a multiple championship winner in karting throughout his native Finland, Makela went on to enjoy great success in UK Formula Ford, finishing third overall during only his second season of car racing in 2003 before going on to claim a superb title victory with 10 race wins from 20 starts the following year.
In 2005, the Finn turned his attentions to the World Touring Car Championship, posting a best race result of 10th position during the British round at Silverstone. But Makela is a single-seater racer at heart and having agreed terms with Manor for the remainder of 2006, he is fully focused on repeating his Formula Ford success in Formula Renault UK.
"We're absolutely delighted to have all four cars on the grid and to have completed a deal with Valle is fantastic news for Manor", commented team manager Tony Shaw.
"He's proven his worth as a driver in Formula Ford and although this season didn't begin the way he would have liked, we're confident as a Manor driver he will show everyone what he is truly capable of in Formula Renault UK. He's certainly a tremendously talented driver and we're confident we will be able to bring the best out of him."
Alongside Makela's shock signing, a further boost for Manor is the news its Portuguese star Joao Vasconcelos will finally make his season's bow at Oulton Park next weekend having been forced to miss the first two races of the season at Brands Hatch.
Shaw added: "We're hoping for a very good weekend at Oulton Park and I'm confident all four of our drivers will have successful outings. It's unfortunate Joao had to miss the first two rounds but he's raring to go and looking forward to being back on track."
Makela will make his competitive debut as a Manor Motorsport driver next weekend,13th/14th May, at Oulton Parkfor the third and fourth rounds of the Formula Renault UK Championship, joining Vasconcelos, French star Franck Mailleux and Chinese sensation Cheng Congfu.