Lando Norris PR

Lando Norris joins Carlin in Formula 2 for 2018 season

Leave a comment

McLaren youngster Lando Norris will move into Formula 2 for the 2018 season with Carlin, continuing his long-running partnership with the British team.

Norris, 18, won the FIA European Formula 3 title in 2017 as a rookie with Carlin in a competitive field, before signing off from the category with a podium finish in the Macau Grand Prix last weekend.

Norris was confirmed as McLaren’s official reserve and test driver in Formula 1 for 2018 earlier this month after an impressive test showing in July, and will balance these duties with a full-season F2 campaign.

Norris made his F2 debut in Abu Dhabi on Saturday with Campos in order to gain more experience in the series ahead of a full-time move for 2018, which was confirmed on Sunday.

“I’m going into 2018 unquestionably aiming to achieve more success by winning races. But 2018 will also be a big learning year,” Norris said.

“Getting experience of the increased power, enhanced aerodynamics, the [Pirelli] tires, the mandatory pit-stops and competing at new tracks like Bahrain, Baku and Sochi.

“It’s an educational year, I’ll be new to Formula 2 while Carlin is returning after a season out of the category. I’ll also be up against some very experienced F2 drivers. I’m hopeful it will work to our advantage that 2018 sees a newly designed [Dallara] car being raced for the first time since 2011.

“It’ll be my fourth year competing with Carlin. Trevor heads up a great operation at Carlin and I feel part of the ‘family’ there. It’s a friendly environment and one in which I feel very comfortable in.”

Norris will partner Sergio Sette Camara at Carlin next season, with the Brazilian also being confirmed by the team in Sunday’s announcement.

Carlin will return to F2 for 2018 after one season away, having last raced in the category when it was known as GP2 before being rebranded for this year.

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Leave a comment

Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

Follow @KyleMLavigne