Richie StanawayIt’s been twenty-seven years since the last time a New Zealander sat on the grid about to take part in a Formula One Grand Prix, and many believe that’s too long since a kiwi has flown the flag in the glamorous world of Formula One.

Rotorua born, Richie Stanaway, aims to bring an end to the drought, and has recently come significantly closer after signing a multi-year contract with the Lotus Renault GP Formula One team principal, Eric Boullier, who also heads the Luxembourg based, Gravity Sport Management group.

After winning Germany’s ADAC Formula Masters championship in a show of dominance, the youngster was put through a thorough evaluation process with Gravity, and subsequently was offered the deal which has lead to a drive in the 2011 German Formula 3 Championship.

In 2007, Stanaway was picked up as an underdog after being selected for the New Zealand SpeedSport Scholarship, and since then has established himself as a race winner in New Zealand, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom on his way to winning two championships over the past three years.

“Signing with Gravity has been a crucial break for me, and their support has enabled me to continue my racing career in Europe. I’m confident now that they can provide the pathway to the top and help me to achieve my goals,” said Stanaway.

Round one of the 2011 German Formula 3 championship gets underway this weekend, with races streaming live on Internet TV at www.formel3.de.