Formula Renault attracts Ford Champions The Formula Renault UK Championship is poised to boast the world's most competitive grid of junior racing drivers and teams in 2002 after attracting two more star names: reigning Formula Ford champions ...
Formula Renault attracts Ford Champions
The Formula Renault UK Championship is poised to boast the world's most competitive grid of junior racing drivers and teams in 2002 after attracting two more star names: reigning Formula Ford champions Steven Kane (Ballynahinch) and Mackie Motorsport.
Irishman Kane, voted 2001 McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year, and the Mackie team romped to last year's junior Ford Zetec title. Their almost unprecedented decision to graduate together to Formula Renault will have come as a surprise to many.
They will join what is shaping up - by any junior championship's standards - to be a grid exceptionally high in young driver talent and team rivalry. Already, defending champion team Motaworld Racing and multiple title-winner Manor Motorsport have announced arguably the strongest driver line-ups in their history as they seek to win the Formula Renault UK title.
However, both Kane and his team boss Andy Mackie are confident they can continue their winning form into 2002. "We're not in this to finish second to Motaworld, Manor or anybody," said Mackie. He also explained: "While we will continue in junior Ford, our decision to move into Formula Renault is very much market-led. Many drivers in the frame for Formula Ford or Formula Renault are now choosing the Renault route."
Kane and the Mackie team - expected to announce a second driver soon - begin their pre-season testing programme in Italy next week. Kane, aged 21, commented: "Moving into Formula Renault will be very tough but, in my opinion, Andy is a superb engineer - the best in Ford - so I know he will turn out an excellent car.
"I'd hope to finish strongly in the first few rounds and then be in a position to win races. If we can get those results then maybe we can push for the title but until the first race we're not going to make any predictions. I'm also very keen to use the season to help me develop as a driver."
The first of the 2002 Formula Renault UK Championship's 13 rounds takes place on Brands Hatch's full-length Grand Prix circuit in Kent on Easter Monday, 1st April.