Scottish sensation Gregor Ramsay is to attack a full season in the Formula Abarth European Series and Italian Formula Abarth Championship in 2012.Ramsay has been steered into Formula Abarth by Ferrari Driver Academy Manager Luca Baldisserri, the ex-Formula 1 Ferrari chief engineer who was hugely impressed with Ramsay’s performances at the Academy on the legendary Fiorano test track last July.It means that Glasgow lad Ramsay became the UK’s youngest driver in international single-seater competition when he made his Formula Abarth debut at Monza last October, at the age of just 15 years and three months! Two weeks later he finished 12th on his second appearance, at the Circuit de Catalunya season finale.
Gregor has now switched to the Swiss-based Jenzer Motorsport team for 2012, when he will be engineered by Englishman Andy Welch, the man who guided the early car-racing careers of the late Dan Wheldon and USA racing star Danica Patrick.He will contest all eight race weekends, which comprise three races each and take place on top-level tracks including Monza, Hungaroring, Imola, Red Bull Ring, Valencia and Mugello.
“It’s fantastic for me to race on these tracks,” said Ramsay. “Jenzer was the best team for me to go to, as having a British engineer with Andy was the number-one box for me to tick. My plan is to win the Rookie championship in 2012 and then go for the overall championship in 2013.”Jenzer, run by Andreas Jenzer, has a leading record in most junior categories and particularly in Formula Abarth, where the team won the 2011 European teams title and carried Patric Niederhauser to the drivers title in Italy. Concurrently, the Jenzer Welch Asia Racing team – run by Welch on behalf of Jenzer – won the Formula Pilota China series for Formula Abarth cars with Matheo Tuscher.
Talking of Ramsay’s performance at the Ferrari Driver Academy, Baldisserri said: “Gregor is very quick to understand what he has to do. He is precise and clean in his way of driving. He was quite consistent in improving the lap time run by run, and quite quick to achieve confidence needed for quick corners. He showed good coordination and ability, and doesn’t seem to be under stress.”
“Despite his young age, we are very keen to suggest to Gregor the move from karts to cars, especially if his goal is to become the next British World Champion!”
Gregor attended the Ferrari Driver Academy with Tony Kart, the leading Italian kart team, which he moved to during the 2010 season and where he has been coached by Terry Fullerton, the ex-karting hero who Ayrton Senna once described as his toughest ever rival.
He also formerly drove for the Zip Young Guns team of the late British karting hero Martin Hines.
Gregor is backed in his career by East Kilbride-based Clyde Blowers Capital. He is the son of Scott Ramsay, the 1992 Scottish Junior Formula Ford 1600 champion and 1995 BRC British FF1600 champion and a former racing rival of Paul di Resta’s father Louis – di Resta Snr is another to have played a role in coaching Gregor.
His first race weekend of 2012, after an intensive testing programme, will be March 31st/April 1st at Valencia. Ramsay added: “I am very excited to be given the opportunity to race with a top European title-winning team under the total guidance of Andy Welch and Andreas Jenzer, and to be able to race on top international race circuits is a dream come true. “I am pleased I have retained my main sponsor Clyde Blowers and the mentoring of the Ferrari Driver Academy during 2012.”