Reigning British KF3 Karting Champion Alex Gill, one of the country’s most talented and highly rated young racing drivers, has given a big thumbs-up to the new Formula Renault UK 1.6 Championship after sampling the all-carbon ‘slicks and wings’ single-seater for the first time last week.
Doncaster-based Gill, who celebrates his 16th birthday today, Monday, 15th July, joined established Protyre Formula Renault Championship team MTECH Lite for his maiden test outing in the Formula Renault 1.6 at Blyton Park in Lincolnshire last Wednesday, 10th July.
There, he also had the opportunity to drive one of the South Derbyshire-based squad’s FR 2.0 cars and impressed team manager Les Jones with his professionalism, application and ability at the wheel of both the entry-level 1.6-litre car and the more senior 2.0-litre chassis.
“Alex conducted himself very well indeed”, said Jones, “He enjoyed his run in the 1.6 car and in the 2.0-litre he was only 0.7 seconds off the pace of our regular drivers. He’s a lovely kid and is great to work with, incredibly professional at such a young age he’s a sponsor’s dream really.”
Gill, who is affiliated to the Infiniti Red Bull Racing-Renault FIA Formula One World Championship team through his title-winning exploits in karting with the works Wright Karts squad, the official Red Bull KF3 Junior Karting Team, is currently preparing for his maiden car racing season in 2014.
Young karting graduates like the hugely successful teenager are the key target market for Formula Renault UK 1.6 as the category gears-up for its debut next year, particularly with the championship’s strong emphasis on education as well as competition.
In addition to incorporating a special fitness programme, which will be monitored by MSA (Motor Sports Association) Academy coaches, a substantial package of support will deliver further training linked to media, presentation skills and sponsorship.
“We first met Jeremy Townsend [Renault UK Communications Director] at the Night of Champions when Alex received his British KF3 Karting title and we discussed the prospect of Formula Renault 1.6 then”, explained Gill’s father Steve, “We thought it sounded like the ideal entry-level single-seater category for young teenagers, with less horsepower than the 2.0-litre championship.
“Since then, we’ve stayed in touch with Simon [North Formula Renault UK 1.6 Championship Manager] as we look at what to do for Alex’s first year in cars. We fully support the principal of education and learning, which is a strong part of the championship’s philosophy. We’re 100% behind that, it looks a really good direction.”
While full details of the 2014 calendar for Formula Renault UK 1.6 are yet to be confirmed, a season of between 18 and 20 races which doesn’t clash with key GCSE examination time is expected to run over a maximum of eight weekends.
Organisers are also planning a special ‘Autumn Trophy’ event, slated to take place over the weekend 2nd/3rd November at Rockingham in Northamptonshire, as a precursor to the inaugural main season next year.
For more information, visit www.renaultsport.co.uk/championships/formularenaultuk
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Marc Orme, Tel: +44 (0)7920 886985, Email: