Drabble secures Van Diemen seta for 2012 Formula Ford

•Racing newcomer Alex joins Fluid for Formula Ford campaign•Set to contest Duratec class & new Rookie Cup

The Van Diemen name will return to the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain this season. Nineteen-year-old Alex Drabble, son of historics racer Simon, will campaign a Duratec-engined 2011 Van Diemen for the Fluid Motorsport Development team.

Alex hopes not only for success in the Duratec class but also the championship’s new Rookie Cup. He has come to Formula Ford via an unusual racing route - historic sports cars. “I didn’t really take to karting as a child,” said Alex, “but then I passed my ARDS test and had a go in my father’s Merlyn Mk 6 and a Turner-Climax.”

Hampshire-based Drabble subsequently raced a 1992 Kent-engined Swift Formula Ford chassis and, after some work with driver coach Rob Wilson, is ready to give his all in the coming season: “I am really looking forward to it and I think going the Duratec route with Fluid will be the best option for me. I tried the car at the Formula Ford sampler day in December, liked it immediately and liked the team. I can’t wait to get out testing.”

Drabble is the first registrant for the Formula Ford Rookie Cup, which is aimed at drivers with limited experience at national single-seater level. Drivers in both Duratec and EcoBoost-powered chassis will be eligible to win the cup.

Fluid Motorsport team boss Lindsay Allen says Alex will be one to watch: “He has not done a lot of racing but he is very serious about his career and has the potential to do well. Give him a few races to settle into things and he will be up at the front, I am sure.”

Formula Ford’s new generation of drivers will enjoy their first competitive action over the Easter weekend (7-9 April) at Oulton Park in Cheshire. The British championship features 24 rounds spread over eight race meetings, including supporting events to British F3 and German touring cars, while the EuroCup dovetails with the UK dates to take in races at Brands Hatch, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Germany’s Nürburgring and Zandvoort in the Netherlands.

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