Gregor Ramsay and Vincenzo SospiriSixteen-year-old Scottish rising star Gregor Ramsay has been signed up by ex-international racing ace Vincenzo Sospiri to contest the Formula Renault ALPS Championship in 2013.

Ferrari protégé Ramsay took a race win at Vallelunga and a podium finish at Imola in his rookie Formula Abarth season this year. Just 15 years old when the season started, he finished a highly creditable eighth in the European Series. Now he will drive for Sospiri’s Euronova Racing team as it re-enters the Formula Renault category.

It comes after two tests, at Varano and Imola, in one of Euronova’s Formula Abarth machines, in which Gregor created a very favourable impression alongside the team’s newly-crowned Abarth champion, Brazilian Nicolas Costa.

“We are all looking forward to the new challenge and to already have Gregor on board is a great start,” said Sospiri. “So far he has been very impressive during testing. He hit all his targets regarding fast lap times and consistency, which is very important.

“I believe that Gregor and I will work together very well and that he will develop into an excellent racer capable of reaching the top. Based on what I have seen of him so far I have no doubt that he has the potential to be the next British motorsport star.”

The Formula Renault ALPS Championship attracts many of racing’s brightest young stars, competing at prestige Grand Prix circuits such as Monza in Italy, Spa in Belgium and Barcelona in Spain, as well as events in Austria and France.

“I’m very proud to be part of Euronova Racing,” said East Kilbride racer Ramsay. “I had my first tests with the team last week and they went really well. I was very comfortable in the car and the team were really good to work with.

“Vincenzo is an excellent driver coach and I have already learned a lot just from these two tests, so I’m really looking forward to next year. The Renault ALPS Championship is very competitive and we will be doing a lot of preparation over the winter in order to be at the front when the racing starts.”

As one of the leading young talents of his generation, Sospiri won the 1988 Formula Ford Festival and then the 1990 Formula Vauxhall Lotus title before moving into the international ranks. He became champion in Formula 3000 – the forerunner of today’s GP2 Series – in 1995 and graduated to Formula 1 with the short-lived Lola project in 1997. After racing in Indycars he switched to sportscar racing, driving for the factory Toyota team in the Le Mans 24 Hours and twice becoming an international sports-prototype champion before retiring at the end of the 1999 season.

In 2002 he set up Euronova Racing, and since then has run future racing stars such as Formula 1 racers Robert Kubica, Vitaly Petrov and Jerome d’Ambrosio, and GP2 talent Luca Filippi.

Ramsay, who is backed by Clyde Blowers as well as Europe’s biggest-ever lottery winners Colin and Chris Weir, will head off to the Ferrari Driver Academy, overseen by former F1 team chief engineer Luca Baldisserri, for more focus on his development as a driver. He will also continue testing with Euronova until mid-December, and will relocate from Scotland to the Sospiri family home in Italy, where he will continue his education and learn Italian and German.

The Formula Renault category will be boosted by the introduction of an exciting new Tatuus-built chassis in 2013, further cementing its position as the strongest and most competitive junior single-seater category in Europe.