Formula Masters China Vice-Champion Matt Solomon will compete with Double R Racing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this year it is confirmed today, Monday, 2nd February, marking a return to a two-car entry for the British team in the blue riband F3 category.
Hot on the heels of the announcement confirming Germany’s Nicolas Pohler as the Woking team’s first F3 signing of 2015, Double R is elated to have secured Hong Kong-based Solomon’s signature and is looking forward to working with the young prospect during his maiden season in Europe.
Taking five race victories and a total of 12 podiums last year in Formula Masters, Solomon – who will celebrate his 19th birthday next month – also made appearances in the Indian-based MRF Challenge and debuted in sportscar competition in the Far East where he competed as a dealer driver.
Although arriving in Europe with good experience and obvious ambition, Solomon knows the huge step in competitiveness the FIA Formula 3 European Championship brings. Well aware of the major challenge which awaits him during his rookie campaign, the teenager is determined to learn as much as possible as he strives to climb the order during the season.
“I am extremely excited to arrive in Europe and race in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, there is going to be a lot to learn and understand but it’s a great challenge”, said Solomon, “There are new tracks for me to learn, a new philosophy and also a new mentality to take with a higher level of racing. Double R is a fantastic team with a lot of experience so my job is to do the best I can.”
Solomon, who was born of Chinese and Australian heritage and is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, began his motor racing career when he was 11-years-old and won the Hong Kong Junior Championship in his maiden season. Retaining the title, he then went on to enjoy more success in the Far East including winning the 2012 Grand Champion Hong Kong International Kart Grand Prix.
Graduating into single-seater car racing in 2013, Solomon contested the inaugural year of Formula Masters China action and ended the season a highly creditable fifth overall with four podiums. He also gained additional experience in Europe in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps Championship.
One of the highlights of his career so far came in late 2013 when he partnered double FIA Formula One World Champion Mika Hakkinen in two rounds of the GT Asia series, the duo winning the first race and finishing fourth in the second. Solomon went on to be selected to represent Hong Kong in the FIA Academy ‘Institute of Excellence’ assessment.
“We’re delighted to finalise a deal with Matt so quickly after confirming Nicolas too, it’s great to have him onboard for 2015”, said Double R team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “It’s a cracking young line-up and while FIA Formula 3 is always unbelievably competitive, Matt has shown some very impressive pace up to now. He’s definitely got all of the attributes to be a successful driver.”
Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in the UK will host the opening event of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season over the weekend 11th/12th April.