With the International rounds of the 2007 Toyota Racing Series still four months away, two International motor racing stars have already signed up.
With the International rounds of the 2007 Toyota Racing Series still four months away, two International motor racing stars have already signed up. Italian prospect Edoardo Piscopo and popular New Zealander Brendon Hartley will race under the banner of Mark Petch Motorsport in what is hoped will be the foundation for future appearances by European based drivers.
Both drivers are currently contesting the ultra-competitive Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup as members of the Red Bull Junior Team and will look to maintain their race fitness and competitive edge during the northern hemisphere winter months. Although they will return to Europe after the International rounds of the series, it is hoped arrangements can be made to enable their return to contest the New Zealand Grand Prix in March.
Piscopo, a 19 year old Roman, commenced his racing career in karting where he won various championships before moving up to Formula Ford in 2004. Last year, he moved to the USA where he raced Formula BMW, picking up three victories in a campaign which culminated in fifth place overall in the World Final held in Bahrain. His performances in this year's Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup have been impressive and see him lying 11th overall on points after several top ten placings.
Palmerston North born Hartley, at only 16 years old, caused a sensation when it was announced he had been awarded a Red Bull scholarship to race in Europe. After major success in both Formula Ford and the Toyota Racing Series, the Dan Higgins Trophy holder has impressed with the way he adapted to the cut and thrust of the European racing scene. After a conservative start to the Europcup, he is now seen as a top five place getter and holds down 10th place overall with four rounds remaining.
Mark Petch Motorsport are looking forward to running the two young chargers in the first of what they anticipate will be ongoing arrangements with Red Bull Junior Team drivers:
"We are pleased to be campaigning the series with two such promising international drivers and are confident a regular arrangement can be made to host further young stars. The Toyota Racing Series gives them an opportunity to sharpen their skills and give local drivers an accurate indication of how they compare with the best European racing has to offer" said Team principal, Mark Petch.
The Toyota Racing Series commences at Pukekohe Park Raceway early November and runs through to mid-April with the three International rounds taking place throughout January. Further announcements regarding international competitors are expected over the next few weeks.