Skip to content

Driver Database News

The latest news from the world of racing

Two dynamic and youthful brands, LAPIZTA and Function Jigsaw, have joined forces with up-and-coming British racing driver Cameron Twynham for his 2014 EuroFormula Open campaign.

Following a successful European F3 Open debut in 2013, the 18-year-old from Market Harborough graduates to the re-christened series’ top tier this season with Team West-Tec, for whom he finished second in last year’s Copa Class.

American watchmaker LAPIZTA – who count three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and Penske IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves as an ambassador – are committed to sharing their passion for extreme sports and lifestyles through their similarly adventurous timepiece designs. The deal sees its logos appearing on LAPIZTA Crew member Cameron’s Dallara F312 single-seater, as well as its watches on his wrist, throughout the season.

The BRDC Rising Star and MSA Academy member will also receive backing from Leicestershire-based Function Jigsaw, a performance-focused company that specialises in sports testing and rehabilitation. Having previously worked with Team GB’s Winter Olympic athletes, World Superbike riders, elite rugby players and professional footballers, their expertise will now prove invaluable to maintaining Twynham’s fitness levels behind the wheel.

LAPIZTA and Function Jigsaw join existing partners Geodis Wilson, High5 Sports Nutrition and Mitchell Rubber Europe as valued supporters of Twynham’s 2014 programme.

Cameron Twynham: “I’m delighted to be working with these diverse and energetic partners throughout the season. With LAPIZTA, an ambitious lifestyle brand, it’s an amazing privilege to become one of their Crew alongside Helio, while Function Jigsaw’s proven expertise in physiotherapy will be vital in improving my overall fitness levels this year. I’m especially proud to be working with and promoting a local company on the international stage.”

Mauricio Acevedo, LAPIZTA Executive Vice President: “We are thrilled to welcome Cameron to the LAPIZTA Crew. He combines top performance with a true deep-seated passion for motorsports, the precise qualities embroiled in our racing watch collection. With his young, bold and fearless attitude, Cameron embraces and identifies with LAPIZTA’s core values and together we hope to spread that Infinite Passion with motorsport aficionados.”

Julie Hayton, Function Jigsaw Clinical Director: “We are pleased and proud to bring our multidisciplinary approach to Cameron’s preparation and athlete development. Our passion for sports recovery and progression has brought us to the forefront of our field. Applying our knowledge to both Cameron as an individual and his support team will hopefully benefit and enhance their overall performance.”

Meanwhile, Twynham’s impact closer to home has been recognised with the Pride of Harborough award for raising the town’s profile, while also receiving recognition in the Young Achiever of the Year category.

“To win one award and be amongst the finalists of another is incredible,” he added. “Beating The Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn was certainly unexpected! I’m always very proud to represent the town through my racing career, so hopefully I can do Market Harborough justice in 2014.”

This season’s EuroFormula Open campaign kicks off at the Nurburgring in Germany on May 3/4.

Seb MorrisSeb Morris called on all of his resolve and racing nous to deliver two battling points finishes during a frustrating first event of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup season at Monza over the weekend, 12th/13th April, having gone into the races on the back foot after a troublesome qualifying.

Ending the opening event of his maiden season in European-level racing ninth in the championship standings, the 18-year-old Welsh driver produced a superb performance in round two on Sunday morning to climb into the top eight from an uncharacteristic 17th on the grid. Post-race, that became seventh position when Raoul Owens was handed a five second time penalty.

In Saturday’s first round, the Caterham Racing Academy youngster had a thankless task after contact at the final corner on the opening lap dropped him to the tail of the 32 car field. Even though having to contend with serious front wing damage, he tenaciously fought his way back into 15th position.

“It’s been a bit of a tough one this weekend”, said the Marford driver, “We were quickest in practice and it all looked good going into qualifying, but there was a mistake with the tyre pressures which put the team further down the grid than we should have been. We were on the back foot really for the rest of the weekend, so we have to be satisfied with the race performances.”

Beginning the Monza weekend with a superb run in pre-event practice, topping the times as the only driver to dip below the 1m50 second barrier, the Fortec Motorsport racer was all set to challenge for pole position in qualifying but the incorrect tyre pressure choice led to a difficult run.

Starting round one from the eighth row of the grid, Seb was unceremoniously tagged from behind at the Parabolica on lap one and resulting contact to his front wing from another car led to a very long afternoon’s work. Fighting serious understeer for the rest of the race, the Jack Wills ‘Young Briton’ and TAG Heuer ambassador worked wonders to recover from the back of the field into the top 15

For Sunday morning’s second round, Seb lined-up on row nine of the grid in 17th position and was able to show more of his genuine pace as he carved his way through the order into an impressively strong eighth place. Working his way into contention for the top 10 on lap one alone, he emerged from a great four car battle with eighth place – later becoming seventh post-race – to bring a positive conclusion to the weekend.

“In race one I got spun round into the last corner, then I was hit round by another car back into the right direction but it ripped off the right side of my front wing”, explained the Elite Cymru driver, “I battled back through though and from being at the back we got 15th place which was good going, especially with the damage.

“Sunday’s race was much cleaner, we picked off cars one by one and made the best of a bad job really – it was a good drive. We definitely had the pace to challenge for the podium this weekend, and probably wins to be honest. We’ll learn from it, though, and hopefully do better at Silverstone.”

Next on the calendar for Seb will be a return to British soil for the second event of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC season, rounds three and four, which will take place at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on 24th/25th May in support of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

Photo by Insight F1 Motorsport Report/Jeroen Vermeeren.

Seb MorrisMonza in Italy, one of motor racing’s most lauded race tracks, will host the opening two rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup this weekend, 12th/13th April, where Caterham Racing Academy driver Seb Morris will have his sights set on achieving his first silverware of 2014.

The 18-year-old from Marford, who embarks on his maiden season of pan-European competition this year with leading British team Fortec Motorsport, makes his first visit to the home of the Italian Grand Prix – a race meeting he is relishing.

With enviable support and backing for the coming season, as well as his place on the Caterham Racing Academy the Welshman works with UK clothing brand Jack Wills as one of the company’s ‘Young Britons’. Seb is also an ambassador for TAG Heuer and last month he was invited onto the prestigious Elite Cymru scheme which is backed by the Welsh Assembly.

“I’m really looking forward to the first round of the season at the weekend, it’s fantastic to be back racing again – starting the championship at Monza is going to be pretty special”, said Seb, “It’s such a great track, with so much history, and the racing should be unbelievably close.

“Pre-season testing has gone well and we obviously intend to start the season with the best results we possibly can, but we know it’s going to be a challenging year with so many top drivers and teams in the championship so nothing can be taken for granted.”

In addition to his testing programme in recent weeks, the MSA Academy racer took the opportunity to contest last weekend’s opening rounds of the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps Championship at Imola in Italy, the former home of the San Marino Grand Prix.

Qualifying third fastest in his group, which equated to sixth overall on the combined grid, Seb smartly climbed into the podium placings but ultimately had to settle for 12th position after being knocked out of third place by a rival. In round two he placed sixth after a strong drive, impressing among a field comprising a large number of second and third year drivers.

Turning attention to this weekend, following practice and qualifying at Monza on Friday, 11th April, the first race of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC season will take place at 14.05 (local time) on Saturday, 12th April, with round two scheduled for 09.55 (local time) on Sunday, 13th April. Live race coverage is set to be featured online at the NEC You Tube channel www.youtube.com/user/formularenaultnec

Dennis OlsenTwo strong top ten placements in this weekend’s race at Imola in Italy bodes well for the upcoming season in Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup.

With three weeks left before the series begins, it was good for 17-year-old from Valer Østfold to be back on the track again to compete.

Through the sister series to the one he’ll run this year, he got a wild card and could line up for his new team, Prema Power Team.

Having qualified for the eighth position of 41 cars on both Friday and Saturday, it was a good starting point to go from.

In Saturday’s race Olsen quickly went up three places, and could smile at a good fifth place at the finish.

On Sunday he made a poor start and fell down to tenth, but managed to bring back the two places he lost before the finish.

A fifth and eighth place is the results after the first taste of competition this year.

Dennis Olsen is happy to finally be back in action again.

- It was a good start to the season before the Euro Cup and it was nice to know that I am well underway. I’m not entirely happy with the qualifying, but we got to the races pretty good. It’s okay to make small mistakes here, so I can do the best when it really matters, he says.

Olsen has ambitions to win the Euro Cup this year, and although a fifth and eighth place is strong, he is aiming higher.

- I wish I could have made the podium, but all in all it was a positive weekend. We’ve become stronger, both me and the team, and I feel secure in the racing situation. That is important to take with me into the first race in the Euro Cup, says Dennis Olsen

Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup starts April 25 to 27 at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

Photo by Prema Powerteam.

Kaan ÖnderTurkish racing’s emerging talent, Kaan Önder has joined the Borusan Otomotiv Motorsport for the 2014 FIA European Touring Car Cup.

The 17-year old Önder will drive the team’s BMW 320si cars in the Super 2000 TC2 class, teaming up with the experienced Aytaç Biter who is competing in the Super 2000 TC2T class at the wheel of a BMW 320 TC.

Since the age of ten, Önder has amassed more than 3,000 hours of racing in karting series and claimed two titles in the Turkish Championship (2008 in the ICA Junior class and 2009 in the KF3 class) before being crowned champion in the 2010 FIA South East European Zone (KF3) and the 2011 Rotax International Open (Junior).
Önder moved to car racing in 2013 and was classified 7th in the Formula BMW Talent Cup.

Team manager Tolga Ozakinci explained: “Önder represents a long term project for our team. We began promoting him since he was ten-years old and look at his future results with a lot of expectations.”

Chinese racer Peter Li Zhi Cong joins championship winning team Carlin for an assault on the 2014 Cooper Tires British Formula Three International Series. Li Zhi Cong previously spent time with the team during his participation of the Brands Hatch round of the British F3 Championship last season. Li Zhi Cong joins the team as the Series makes a return to some of the most respected and loved tracks in the UK – with a visit to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit also on the calendar.

Joining the hugely successful Carlin team Li Zhi Cong will have a wealth of experience to draw from within the team. The British team have won a huge total of nine British Formula Three titles – including most recently the 2013 title with Jordan King.

Carlin’s Formula Three team have a strong reputation for building careers; Daniel Riccardo, Jean-Eric Vergne, Max Chilton and Kevin Magnussen all raced for the team in their early years before reaching the pinnacle of the sport. Li Zhi Cong joins the team and will look to take as much as he can from the team during his first full season racing within Europe.

Li Zhi Cong has spent much of his junior career racing in Asia; his previous experience has seen him take on racing in both single seater cars and GT cars. More recently the Chinese native became the GT Asia Series champion in 2013 and has been competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia; Li Zhi Cong also finished in a strong fifth position during the City of Dreams Macau GT Cup.

Li Zhi Cong said, ‘I’m pleased to be back with Carlin full time for the 2014 season. I enjoyed my time testing and competing with them last year at Brands Hatch and I can’t wait to start racing for them this year. I haven’t raced at many of the tracks however I’m confident that we can put some good work in on the simulator, enjoy a solid year together and learn as much as possible throughout the season.’

Trevor Carlin added, ‘We’re delighted to welcome Li Zhi Cong to the team for the 2014 season. He raced with us last year at Brands Hatch and while it was only one event he was a great addition to the team.

‘The Cooper Tires British Formula Three Championship is an extremely relevant championship for young drivers looking to learn their craft and progress through the motorsport ranks. We’re pleased to be competing again in such a great championship and look forward to the season kicking off in May.’

The first round of the season will get underway 2 – 4 May 2014 with the Cooper Tires British Formula Three International Series making a return to the Rockingham Speedway.

Karim AjlaniKarim Ajlani will make his competitive sportscar comeback this year after joining the European Le Mans Series with front-running squad ART Grand Prix.

The Swiss-Syrian returns to endurance racing at the wheel of a McLaren MP4-12C GT3 in the championship’s GTC category alongside reigning FIA World Endurance Champion and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Ricardo Gonzalez, and established prototype star Alex Brundle.

Ajlani previously contested the series’ LMP2 class in 2009, and has not raced GT machinery competitively since 2005. Quickly adapting to his new surroundings was one of the primary reasons for choosing experienced French outfit ART, which has a history of achieving great success across a number of categories.

The partnership between Ajlani and ART began in February with a test session held at the Estoril circuit in Portugal, followed by another evaluation a month later at Magny-Cours, France. And in order to increase his readiness still further, Karim will employ the expertise of French company AOTech by completing several sessions in their state-of-the-art simulator.

Today sees Ajlani make his first official outing for ART at Paul Ricard as part of the ELMS group test, which continues tomorrow in southern France (1/2 April).

Karim Ajlani: “I’m delighted to be competing in the 2014 ELMS season with ART Grand Prix and would like to extend my thanks to Sebastien Philippe for such a fantastic opportunity. I’m sure that driving for a new team in an unfamiliar car and category means this season will prove to be a new chapter for me. The driving style required for GT cars is slightly different from LMP2, especially in terms of braking and downforce. However, the basics remain fairly similar and I’m sure an experienced outfit such as ART will help me to adapt quickly.

“My first contact with the team was hugely positive. I will now focus on working to improve in every area and ensure that I’m fully prepared. My target this season is to consistently produce error-free drives and compete for GTC victories. I am extremely happy to be embarking upon this new adventure and cannot wait for the season to begin.”

The opening round of the 2014 European Le Mans Series takes place at Silverstone on 18/19 April.

2014 European Le Mans Series Calendar:
Official ELMS Test Session, Paul Ricard, France 1/2 April
1. Silverstone, UK 18/19 April
2. Imola, Italy 17/18 May
3. Red Bull Ring, Austria 19/20 July
4. Paul Ricard, France 13/14 September
5. Estoril, Portugal 18/19 October

Jack BarlowThe Jamun Racing driver also starred in front of a capacity crowd at Brand Hatch (30 March) with a stunning recovery drive after stalling on the grid.

“Well, it was an eventful weekend!” was how he summed up the opening event of the season. “I definitely need to brush up my qualifying and starts, as that’s where it went wrong for me.”

The 18-year old from Hastings was ruing his inability to translate his blistering pace in Friday’s wet practice session into a front-row grid position when it really mattered. His frustration was further compounded 24-hours later when his car stalled at the start of Sunday’s race.

His own harshest critic, Jack was perhaps being a little too hard on himself. In a close-fought session against the clock, the top ten grid positions were separated by just eight-tenths of a second, with Barlow seventh-fastest.

“I didn’t get the best of starts,” he said after Saturday’s curtain-raiser. “I hadn’t even had the chance to practice a start before the race, so I dropped back and had to pick my way through the traffic.” Having got up to 4th Loughborough College student lined up Sam Brabham. “I got up to behind Sam, who really put up a fight and did a great job of defending, but he left the door open going into Druids (corner) and that was my opportunity to stick it down his inside.” When Brabham tangled with the driver behind him, Barlow was clear to bring his distinctive red Mygale home in a comfortable 3rd place – to claim his first silverware of the season.

A solid 5th place in the following race – despite struggling with a mishandling car – helped Barlow bank more valuable championship points. This put him into a respectable 4th place overall ahead of Sunday’s encounter in front of large crowds – attracted by the opening races of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

Thousands of fans had their hearts in their mouths as the Formula Ford field accelerated away from the starting grid, with several cars swerving to avoid collecting the stationary Barlow. After a few agonizing moments, his engine sparked into life and he streaked off in hot pursuit.

“You couldn’t see on the TV that I put in some proper, hairy moves!” he told reporters later. “I passed two cars going into Paddock Hill Bend and went round the outside of James Abbott at Druids.”

It was a scintillating drive, and one that moved complete strangers to congratulate him in the paddock afterwards: “People were coming up to me and saying ‘Were you in the red car? Oh man, you were awesome!’ and things like that. My team was delighted and even people from other teams were praising me for my pace and over-taking skills but I was just frustrated that I fluffed my start.”

Jack retained his 4th-place position in the points table and is now preparing for the series’ visit to Donington Park in Leicestershire (19/20 April). “Between now and then, I’m going to be practicing my starts!” he said – half joking. “If I can sort them out and find a little more qualifying speed, then we’ll be able to challenge for more podiums and hopefully, race wins.”

Jack would like to thank his marketing partners Skinners of Rye, Key Motor Finance and Corbeau Seats for their valued support.

Greaves MotorsportGreaves Motorsport has completed a successful programme at the Official Test for the 2014 European Le Mans Series, held over the past two days at the Circuit Paul Ricard. Tom Kimber-Smith posted the second fastest time in the #41 car on day two with a lap time of 1:49.452. This bodes well for the season as traditionally the Le Castellet track is not favourable to the Nissan powered Zytek chassis that is run by the team. Joining Tom in the #41 entry was 2013 Greaves Motorsport driver and former ALMS Champion, Chris Dyson. Third seat in the car was occupied by fellow American, Matt McMurry, who was making his European sportscar debut. Matt also drove the #28 sister car to give him maximum seat time and his performance in both cars reflected his potential. An announcement about his possible future programme with the team will be made in due course.

Also making their first appearance with the team were 2012 Radical Endurance Champions, Tony Wells and James Littlejohn, and the pair turned in a competitive performance over the two days of testing. Assisting them in the #28 Zytek was leading GP2 driver, Jon Lancaster, who helped to set a baseline for the car’s setup.

The team open their 2014 race campaign at Silverstone in two weeks with the first round of the 2014 European Le Mans Series, further details of this will be announced in due course.

Team Manger, Jacob Greaves. “It has been a good couple of days here in France, we came with a programme to get both the drivers and the cars in the best possible shape for what promises to be a very competitive season. Tom’s lap time in the car reflects the progress that we have made over the winter. Add to that strong performances from Chris, James, Matt and Tony and we have reason to be optimistic about the year ahead.”

Lotus Junior TeamLotus F1 Team, in partnership with Gravity Sport Management, is proud to announce the Lotus F1 Junior Team drivers for 2014. Nine drivers drawn from eight countries will compete in six different motorsport categories as part of the squad.

Working alongside Lotus F1 Team the Junior Team drivers will benefit from a shared identity as they undergo an extensive programme to develop their driving, physical fitness, health, nutrition, mental fortitude, social skills, business acumen and public relations prowess.

2014 Lotus F1 Junior Team Drivers

  • Marlon Stockinger, Philippines, Formula Renault 3.5 Lotus-Charouz
  • Alex Fontana, Switzerland/Greece, GP3 ART GP
  • Esteban Ocon, France, F3 Euro Series Prema Powerteam
  • Oscar Tunjo, Colombia, F3 Euro Series Signature Team
  • Alex Albon, Thailand, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup KTR
  • Callan O’Keeffe, South Africa, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup ART Junior Team
  • Gregor Ramsay, United Kingdom, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup KTR
  • Dorian Boccolacci, France, Formula 4 Autosport Academy
  • Juan Manuel Correa, USA, European and International Go-Kart Championships Energy Corse

Federico Gastaldi, Lotus F1 Team Deputy Team Principal:
“We are delighted to officially announce our Lotus F1 Junior Team drivers for 2014. The future of our sport is reliant on new talent and the roster we have for this season has great potential. Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado and Charles Pic have all benefitted from the young driver programme created in Enstone so it is obvious that this scheme can help these drivers attain the very best results. We will be supporting these drivers in every way we can and we wish all of them good luck for their racing seasons.”

Gwen Lagrue, Lotus F1 Junior Team Young Driver Programme Manager:
“We are very excited to start our 2014 campaign with such a talented group of young drivers. They are the face of Enstone in their categories and we are proud to represent Lotus F1 Team all over Europe with our Juniors. It’s a long and hard process to build and prepare drivers but we strongly believe that we are more than ever ready to fight for the victory in each category this season and get the result of work and efforts done in the last three years.”