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March 2015

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The Team

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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Leclerc storms damp F3 test day

March 18th, 2015

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Series newcomer Charles Leclerc dominated Wednesday’s Formula 3 European Championship official test day at Valencia, on a track that never dried out fully. The Monegasque, who was runner-up in Formula Renault ALPS last season, was fastest in the wet morning session by a clear seven tenths of a second in his Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-Volkswagen. He was also comfortably clear for most of the afternoon session, although VAR team-mates Alessio Lorandi and Arjun Maini, and Carlin’s Tuesday pacesetter Antonio Giovinazzi were also among those who took it in turns to top the times. The track dried out sufficiently for most of the runners to fit slick tyres, and Leclerc’s final lap of the day was half a second clear of the best anyone else managed, albeit five seconds slower than [...]

Giovinazzi beats rookies in F3 test

March 17th, 2015

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Italian Antonio Giovinazzi kept the rookie challenge at bay in the first official day of Formula 3 European Championship testing at Valencia. The Jagonya Ayam protege began the two-day test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit by topping both sessions, finishing up a quarter of a second clear of Carlin team-mate George Russell. McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner Russell was second in both sessions, each time ending up just ahead of the Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-VW of Monegasque Charles Leclerc. Both Carlin and VAR took one of their ‘joker days’ of running at Valencia on Monday before the official test kicked off on Tuesday. Fourth fastest on Tuesday was German Maximilian Gunther for Mucke Motorsport, ahead of Anglo-Thai Alexander Albon in the lead Signature car. Albon was fourth quickest in the [...]

F3 rookie Beer concussed in crash

March 12th, 2015

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Formula 3 European Championship rookie Nicolas Beer suffered concussion in a big testing crash at Imola on Wednesday. The Dane, driving a EuroInternational Dallara-Mercedes, went off at the fast Piratella left-hander at the top of the hill after the Tosa hairpin. He was taken to the circuit medical centre and released in the evening, and is flying home on Thursday for hospital checks in Denmark. Team boss Antonio Ferrari told AUTOSPORT that the car should be repaired by Friday, in plenty of time for the first official pre-season F3 test at Valencia next week. “We wait the results [of the hospital examination] before confirming his participation in the Valencia test,” Ferrari added. EuroInternational has been sharing the Imola track with Van Amersfoort Racing as several of the leading F3 teams [...]

Merhi plans to combine FR3.5 with F1

March 12th, 2015

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Manor driver Roberto Merhi intends to honour his deal to race for Pons in Formula Renault 3.5 alongside his Formula 1 commitments. Merhi was announced as Manor’s second driver for at least the “opening rounds” of the 2015 F1 season this week, shortly after securing a return to FR3.5, where he was a title contender last year. The Spaniard said that regardless of how long-term his Manor presence ultimately becomes, he thinks being a likely FR3.5 frontrunner alongside a potential tough F1 campaign will help him, and he is also keen not to let Pons Racing down. Sebastian Vettel, Jaime Alguersuari and Daniel Ricciardo all maintained parallel FR3.5 programmes after getting mid-season F1 call-ups in 2006, ’09 and ’11 respectively. “Maybe I will also [race in both] because Pons pushed [...]

Stanaway tops final day of GP2 test

March 11th, 2015

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GP2 newcomer Status Grand Prix ended 2015′s first pre-season test on top of the timesheets, with New Zealand rookie Richie Stanaway leading the way. Stanaway was part of Status’s GP3 line-up in 2014 and joined the team – which purchased the Caterham operation late last year – for the three-day Abu Dhabi test, but is yet to be confirmed for the season ahead. Like day two pacesetter Alex Lynn, Stanaway set his time in the morning session using the super-soft compound Pirelli, with his 1m48.441s logged halfway through proceedings. Formula Renault 3.5 graduate Pierre Gasly was second for DAMS, eclipsing Russian Time’s Mitch Evans late in the session. Evans caused one of two red flags when he stopped at Turn 9, but he finished the morning ahead of Raffaele Marciello, [...]

Lynn keeps DAMS on top in GP2 test

March 10th, 2015

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Alex Lynn kept DAMS at the top of the timesheets on the second day of GP2′s opening pre-season test in Abu Dhabi. The reigning GP3 champion was already the fastest driver of the morning before recording his 1m49.648s shortly before the break on Pirelli’s super-soft rubber. Team-mate, and day one pacesetter, Pierre Gasly was second, having also set his time on the super-softs. Ferrari and McLaren juniors, Raffaele Marciello and Stoffel Vandoorne logged identical times, with Marciello classified third by virtue of turning his lap earlier, while Mitch Evans and Alexander Rossi completed the top six. Lynn was only 18th in the afternoon, but his morning effort remained the best of the day. Norman Nato caused a red flag with an hour remaining when he stopped at Turn 20 while [...]

Gasly leads first GP2 test of 2015

March 9th, 2015

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Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly picked up where he left off in 2014 by topping the opening GP2 pre-season test of 2015 in Abu Dhabi. Last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 runner-up, who topped all three days of a post-season test at Yas Marina with DAMS last year, moved to the head of the timesheets with 10 minutes remaining on Monday. The Frenchman was also able to respond to a quicker time from his countryman Arthur Pic in the closing moments, as both drivers made it into the 1m48s by the end of the day. Late efforts from Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello and his Trident team-mate Rene Binder moved them ahead Jordan King and ex-Sauber Formula 1 test driver Sergey Sirotkin, who were at the top of the times before the [...]

GP2 DRS to operate the same way as F1

March 9th, 2015

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GP2′s new Drag Reduction System will use the same zones and detection points as Formula 1′s DRS when the grand prix-supporting series adopts the device this year. This week’s GP2 test in Abu Dhabi is the first chance for its teams to try DRS after extensive testing on the series’ own development car over recent months. GP2 technical director Didier Perrin said the DRS was aligned as closely as possible with the F1 equivalent. “The rules and the way we operate it is similar to F1,” he said. “We will have the same DRS zones as the ones in F1. “The detection line where we measure the gap between the cars will be in the same location and the criteria to allow a driver to use the DRS or not [...]

Ellinas ends FR3.5 test on top

March 6th, 2015

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Strakka Racing’s Formula Renault 3.5 rookie Tio Ellinas topped his second successive day of testing at Jerez on Friday. The Cypriot recorded a quickest lap of 1m28.260s during the morning session, while Frenchman Matthieu Vaxiviere headed the timing screens in the afternoon thanks to a lap of 1m28.759s. The second day of FR3.5 testing was officially set aside for teams to run and hone the series’ low-downforce set-up. It will be mandatory this season during Saturday qualifying and the opening race of a weekend. Egor Orudzhev was the first to suffer a spin and bring out the red flags. Other stoppages in the morning were required to recover the cars of Beitske Visser, who stranded her AVF machine in the Jerez gravel, and Dutch compatriot Meindert van Buuren. Mid-way through [...]

Visoiu completes Rapax’s GP2 line-up

March 6th, 2015

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GP3 race winner Robert Visoiu will step up to GP2 in 2015, completing Team Rapax’s driver line-up. The Romanian will partner former Sauber Formula 1 test driver Sergey Sirotkin in an all-rookie combination. Visoiu won a pair of GP3 races in 2013 with Arden, before finishing 13th in the 2014 standings with the team. “I am very excited for this opportunity,” the 19-year-old said. “I have been working hard with Pro Performance to be at my best and I am sure together with Rapax I will make good progress in 2015. “It’s going to be an interesting year in which I will have to learn many new things, but I am sure that I will be able to develop a good pace and to be competitive.” Rapax finished ninth in [...]

Record 35 entries for European F3

March 6th, 2015

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The Formula 3 European Championship has attracted a record 35 entries for the 2015 season. With grids in recent years averaging in the high-20s, it represents a record field for the series since it was revived in 2012 and replaced the Euro Series in ’13. A total of 11 teams are represented, with British squad Carlin fielding the most cars, six, and German rivals Mucke Motorsport and Motopark entering five. FIA Single Seater Commission president Stefano Domenicali, who took over the role from Euro F3 championship architect Gerhard Berger last winter, said: “Given the calibre of this year’s contestants, we are bound to see some great racing, and this year’s teams and drivers will really have to prove themselves if they are to win the 2015 championship.” The line-up includes [...]

Stoneman walks away from huge crash

March 5th, 2015

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GP3 runner-up Dean Stoneman escaped injury from a heavy accident on the opening day of Formula Renault 3.5 testing at Jerez on Thursday afternoon. The Briton’s DAMS car was reportedly destabilised by a strong gust of wind at the fast, left-hand, Turn 7 during the afternoon session. Stoneman initially hit one wall, before sustaining a second heavier impact against another barrier that caused the car to spin several times and throw the gearbox clear of the car. Stoneman spent 20 minutes in the Jerez medical centre being checked over, before receiving the all-clear. The accident occurred on lap 14 of a 20-lap run. Although Stoneman reported no after-effects from the crash, his physio has advised him to consume some sugary food to minimise possible delayed reactions caused by stress on [...]

Stockinger moves from FR3.5 to GP2

March 5th, 2015

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Lotus Formula 1 junior Marlon Stockinger will switch from Formula Renault 3.5 to GP2 in 2015, after signing as Status Grand Prix’s first driver in the series. Stöckinger raced for the team in GP3 in 2012 and returns for its maiden GP2 campaign, following Status’s takeover of Caterham Racing late last year. The 23-year-old driver claimed a pair of FR3.5 podiums in 2014 on his way to ninth in the standings. “It is really good to come back to Status and I have a lot of happy memories from our time in GP3, especially winning in Monaco,” he said. “The team are based at Silverstone which is where my European racing career kicked off and it feels very nostalgic and positive. I feel very excited to be back. “GP2 is [...]

Jaafar completes Fortec FR3.5 switch

March 4th, 2015

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Jazeman Jaafar will remain in Formula Renault 3.5 for a third season in 2015, moving to Fortec to partner Oliver Rowland. Jaafar drove for Carlin and ISR in his previous FR3.5 campaigns, taking three podium finishes so far and 10th in last year’s championship, before testing for Fortec during the off-season. “I had a really good test with the team in the winter, settling in really quickly and establishing a good rapport with everyone,” said the 21-year-old Malaysian. “It’s great to be getting back in the car with the team at Jerez this week and I hope that we can have a strong showing and a productive test. “Having Oliver as a team-mate will be good for me too, as I didn’t have a team-mate last year and he has [...]

Merhi returns to FR3.5 with Pons

March 4th, 2015

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Former Caterham Formula 1 test driver Roberto Merhi will return to Formula Renault 3.5 in 2015 with the Pons Racing team. The Spaniard, who took part in the first practice sessions at the Italian, Japanese and Russian Grands Prix with Caterham, was an FR3.5 title contender with Zeta Corse last season. Although Merhi said at the end of 2014 that his preference was to move on from FR3.5, he has now completed a deal with Pons. A team statement said: “Pons Racing is proud to field an incredibly skilled racer like Merhi, and to form a powerful all-Spanish combination to chase the 2015 honours.” Merhi will make his debut with Pons in the FR3.5 winter test at Jerez on March 5-6. The 23-year-old Spaniard made a single-seater comeback last season, [...]

Kirchhofer to combine F3 with GP3

March 3rd, 2015

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GP3 racer Marvin Kirchhofer is to contest the Formula 3 European Championship in 2015. The 20-year-old German will join Italian team EuroInternational to spearhead its attack, two years after he dominated the German F3 Cup. AUTOSPORT sources suggest that the deal has come with the support of EuroInternational engine supplier Mercedes. It is understood that Kirchhofer will also remain in GP3 for a second season with ART Grand Prix, and that this programme will take priority when there are any date clashes. The first arises this month, with the two-day official F3 test at Valencia taking place on March 17-18 and the GP3 sessions at Estoril on March 18-19. Team boss Antonio Ferrari said that he has “another driver in mind” to substitute for Kirchhofer when he is called away [...]

Tunjo pulls out of Pons FR3.5 deal

March 2nd, 2015

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Oscar Tunjo has aborted his plans to drive for Pons Racing in Formula Renault 3.5 this year. The Colombian joined the Spanish team for round four of the 2014 campaign, in a deal that included a full season for ’15. However, the team announced on Monday that Tunjo has had to back out of the deal. “Pons Racing and Oscar Tunjo have mutually decided to end their collaboration,” said a team statement. “The Colombian racer was forced to reconsider his plans due to budget concerns.” Tunjo’s withdrawal means that Pons now has two vacant seats for the upcoming season. 2015 FR3.5 LINE-UP SO FAR DAMS
Nyck de Vries, Dean Stoneman Fortec Motorsports
 Oliver Rowland, TBA Arden Motorsport
Egor Orudzhev, Nicholas Latifi Zeta CorseFacu Regalia, TBA Lotus
Meindert van Buuren, Matthieu Vaxiviere Strakka Racing
Gustav [...]

Regalia makes FR3.5 switch

February 27th, 2015

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Former GP2 driver Facu Regalia will join Zeta Corse for his debut season in Formula Renault 3.5 this year. The Argentinean was eventual champion Daniil Kvyat’s closest title challenger in GP3 two seasons ago, before graduating to GP2 with Hilmer Motorsport in 2014. Regalia parted company with Hilmer after the fourth round of the season at the Red Bull Ring in June. “Following seven months of intense work I can confirm my participation in World Series by Renault,” said Regalia, whose CV also includes campaigns in Auto GP, European F3 Open and Italian F3. “It is another season racing in Europe and it’s fantastic to join such a Formula 1 feeder series with Zeta Corse. “It is an opportunity, and we must do everything in our power to seize it, [...]

Rossi gets Racing Engineering drive

February 27th, 2015

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Alexander Rossi will return to GP2 with Racing Engineering for the 2015 season, completing the team’s line-up alongside Jordan King. The American, a race winner with Caterham in 2013, completed a part-season with the team last year, before switching to Campos for a one-off appearance at Hockenheim and then sitting out the rest of the campaign while he pursued opportunities in Formula 1. Rossi, who made his GP2 debut in the Asia series in 2009, said a deal with Racing Engineering had been a long time coming. “After several years of discussions, at last we have found a way to work together,” said the 23-year-old. “After my 2014 season as the reserve driver at the Caterham and Marussia F1 teams, it is public knowledge that I have been carefully looking [...]

Fittpaldi gets European F3 deal

February 25th, 2015

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Pietro Fittipaldi, the grandson of Brazilian racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi, is to contest the Formula 3 European Championship with Fortec Motorsport. The 18-year-old steps up from Formula Renault – last season he won the BARC championship for older-spec cars in dominant style, and he also took in some rounds of the ALPS series for current machinery. Although no announcement has yet been made by Fortec, Fittipaldi tweeted the news on Wednesday afternoon. The deal follows Fittipaldi shining in tests in a Fortec Dallara-Mercedes during December, while he also tested with Carlin. He will be the third generation of Fittipaldi to race in F3 in Europe – his grandfather raced in Britain in 1969, and his uncle Christian in ’90. Fittipaldi is the first driver to be firmly connected with Fortec’s [...]