Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

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by Ryan Stringfield
Posted January 14, 2010 at 11:35 am linkage

Alexander Rossi has committed to GP3 with ART.  He will be joined by Esteban Gutierrez and Pedro Enrique.  There were a few people who expected Rossi to go straight to GP2 in 2010 but in reality this probably isn’t a bad move, especially when you look at the quality of competition heading to GP3.

Ben Johnston, owner of the Atlantic Championship, is taking a proactive approach to the 2010 season by attending the Autosport Show in England.  He will be offering a test day at Palm Beach International Raceway exclusively for European drivers in February.  Now, if the series could just make an announcement on who will be attending the upcoming test at Sebring on January 23-24, 2010.  I am guessing Zach Veach will be there and perhaps Adam Christodoulou… anyone else?

In World Series by Renault news, Federico Leo will return to Pons Racing for 2010.  No big surprise here, I think most expected him to return for a sophomore season after looking at his 2009 results.  His best finishes of the season occurred during the final two events of the year at Motorland Aragon.  I expect we will see continued improvement in 2010.

Most traditional racing sites are just now reporting that Gianmarco Raimondo has signed with Lucidi Motors to compete in the 2010 Italian F3 championship but Norris McDonald confirmed it on New Year’s Day.  Raimondo, aka G-Mo,  spent the 2009 season in the Formula BMW-Americas series where he finished the year with 1 win and 9 podiums.

It was announced this week that the IndyCar and Indy Lights’ drivers will be testing at Barber Motorsports Park next month.  The schedule has some wondering if the teams will be testing snow tires.

Team JTR (Joe Tandy Racing) plans to launch a racing academy named after the late team owner Joe Tandy who was killed in a street car accident last year.  The academy will help assist up-and-coming drivers.

A few weeks ago, I linked to an article over at Planet-IRL written by Stephanie Wallcraft.  The article looked at a few of the flaws associated with the ‘Road to Indy’ program.  Since that time, a rebuttal has been posted by Tony George Jr. (the Manager of Business Development for the Firestone Indy Lights series) … read it here. It’s a solid read and just goes to show how serious the IRL is about this new program aimed at helping up-and-coming drivers.

Speaking of the ‘Road to Indy‘ … I received a few links and some kind words regarding my coverage of junior formula racing from Tony Johns over at the SBNation IndyCar blog: Pop Off Valve.  Thanks TJ.

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