Richardson Racing has confirmed the signing of Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner Robert de Haan for the 2021 Ginetta Junior Championship season.
The 14-year-old Dutch driver is the first racer to be confirmed as part of a multi-car assault on the series this season, with Robert having earned his place on the grid through Ginetta’s popular Scholarship programme prior to Christmas.
Impressing a panel of judges that included Ginetta factory driver Mike Simpson, British Touring Car Championship race winner Jake Hill and ITV commentator Richard John Neil, Robert was one of two drivers to secure a place on the Scholarship after a three-day long evaluation process that included a range of activities both on and off track.
That makes him the first overseas driver to take the coveted award.
As a Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner, Robert secured a free entry into the 2021 season as well as the use of a Ginetta G40 race car, which will now be run on his behalf by Richardson Racing.
It marks the second time that the Corby-based team will have run a Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner, having been selected by 2017 winner James Taylor to run his car the following year.
Robert makes the step into car racing for the first time on the back of an impressive career in karting, which included winning the Rotax 125 Junior Max title at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals back in 2018.
He then followed that up by winning the German Junior Kart Championship in 2019, and was also third in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy the same season.
His debut in the Ginetta Junior Championship will come at the high-speed Thruxton circuit in Hampshire in early May, with the nine-round season being run wholly on the British Touring Car Championship support package at leading circuits around the UK.
Robert de Haan (Eerbeek, Netherlands), Richardson Racing Ginetta G40, said:
"I’m over the moon to be competing in the Ginetta Junior Championship this season as one of the Scholarship winners, and am looking forward to being part of the Richardson Racing team. After a successful career in karting, this is a fantastic opportunity for me to take the step into car racing and I promise to give my all to repay Ginetta and the team for their support.
"I’m excited about the chance to race at famous circuits like Silverstone and Brands Hatch, and although it is my first season at this level, I’m going into 2021 with one goal - and that is to take as many trophies back home to the Netherlands as I can! I can’t wait for the season to start."
Gwyn Richardson, Richardson Racing team principal, said:
"Robert is an accomplished karter who is highly respected by his peers, and has displayed huge potential in the limited running he has done so far in a car.
"He was a worthy winner of the Ginetta Junior Scholarship, and I’m thrilled that he has chosen to run as part of our driver line-up for his debut season. There’s no doubt that he has the ability to compete at the sharp end of the field, and I’m confident that he’ll be one to watch this year.
"We’re all really looking forward to helping him learn and develop as a driver, and firmly expect him to be a contender for at least the Rookie title."