The European Formula 3 Open championship leader Sandy Kraokaew Stuvik from Thailand has confirmed that he has signed a contract with the Italian Rapax Team to test a GP2 formula car in Abu Dhabi, on 5th and 6th of November, following the Emirati Formula 1 round at the Yas Marina Circuit. The GP2 test will be held together with the yearly Formula 1 Young Driver test.
The GP2 series Dallara formula car produces 612 HP from a 4 liter V8 engine and is only marginally slower than a Formula 1 car. Consequently the GP2 series is considered one of the main learning series for drivers going to Formula 1. The Thai driver tested last week in Dallara’s simulator in Parma, Italy and was put through numerous aerodynamic scenarios and settings to familiarize himself with the car. Both the team and Stuvik were very encouraged by the initial tests.
Although, the GP2 series car will be a big step up from his current Formula 3 machine, Stuvik himself feels ready graduating after almost 10 years of karting and 4 years of progressing up the ranks of formula cars in Europe. The GP2 cars are capable of reaching over 330 km/h and only Formula 1 and Indy cars go faster, however, Stuvik is not faced by the raw power or speed of the car, but believes his biggest challenge will be in mastering the enormous braking capability, similar to that of Formula 1.
Stuvik himself said; ”I have been training hard together with several established GP2 drivers this whole year to ensure that I will be physically and mentally fit to handle the car and to take it to its maximum potential. We learnt tremendously much this year from RP Motorsport, about racing to the maximum and this is something we want to build further on as we move towards Formula 1. I am very happy to test with the Italian team Rapax in Abu Dhabi and since I train in Italy now, it is very easy to work with them. I am also very grateful to my sponsors The Pizza Company, Singha and Dacon who believe in me and have given me this opportunity.”
Stuvik is currently working with a number of Thai global corporations, such as The Pizza Company and Singha and Dacon Inspection Services to achieve funding for a 2 year program aimed towards competing in a Formula 1 feeder series, with the clear aim at ultimately racing in Formula 1. The GP2 series is one such series, racing alongside Formula 1, providing worldwide TV coverage for the sponsors.