Racing Steps Foundation seals Carlin drive for Nuneaton teenager
Former UK InterSteps and Formula Renault 2.0 NEC champion Jake Dennis is to compete in the 2014 FIA European Formula 3 Championship, the Racing Steps Foundation confirms today (Friday).
The Nuneaton teenager - who is fully funded and managed by the foundation - is stepping up to the series with Carlin after a 2013 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 campaign in which he finished fourth in the standings.
Dennis - who is also a former U18 World Karting Champion -follows in the tracks of fellow RSF beneficiaries Oliver Turvey, James Calado and Jack Harvey in making the switch to Formula 3 with the nine-times British Formula 3 International championship-winning team.
Turvey and Calado, who have both since graduated from the Foundation, ended their F3 campaigns with the squad as title runners-up while Harvey clinched the 2012 championship in a Carlin Dallara.
Dennis, aged 18, joins reigning Formula 3 Open Champion Ed Jones in the 2014 Carlin European F3 line-up which the team has yet to finalise.
RSF founder Graham Sharp said: "The drive is fully deserved. Jake showed he was a serial winner during his time in karting and has replicated that title-winning form since making the transition from karts to cars.
"In placing him with Carlin we are giving him the best possible chance to make his mark in what is, without doubt, one of the best proving grounds for would-be professional racing drivers."
Dennis, the 2012 winner of the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, added: "This is an amazing opportunity for me to show what I can do in an open formula with one of the strongest teams out there.
"Formula 3 is often referred to as motorsport's university because of the opportunities it gives young drivers to learn about different aerodynamic and mechanical set-ups over and above the one-make series that I've raced in so far.
"I'm under no illusions as to how hard it's going to be in my rookie year racing against drivers with a lot more experience than me. But I'll be with one of the best teams out there which will be a big help.
"My main 2011 Formula Renault NEC title rival Jordan King finished sixth and top rookie with Carlin last year with two podium finishes to his name, so that's the benchmark I'll be doing my best to better by the end of the season."
Welcoming the signing of a fourth RSF-backed driver, team boss Trevor Carlin said: "Jake is an undoubted talent but like all drivers making the move from one-make series into Formula 3, he'll need to get his head down and work hard.
"Everyone at Carlin will do their bit to help him bed in as quickly as possible, as will the RSF which has a terrific record in bringing on young drivers in F3 with us. The rest is down to Jake. But, in his first three years in single-seaters, he's shown he's a fast learner so from that point of view we expect him to be amongst the front runners."
The 33-race 2014 European Formula 3 season gets underway at Silverstone in April. Dennis gets behind the wheel of his Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen F312 car for the first time in pre-season testing at the Hungaroring on 04 April.
JAKE DENNIS BACKGROUND
Born / LivesNuneaton, Warwickshire, UK
Date of birth / Current age16 June 1995 / 18 years 6 months
Single-Seater CV Highlights
4th, Eurocup Formula 2.0 Championship (1 pole positions, 1 podium, 1 fastest lap)
3rd, Formula Renault 2.0 Pau Trophy (2 podiums)
Champion, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC (3 wins, 3 pole positions, 11 podiums, 2 fastest laps)
Winner, McLaren Autosport BRDC Award
Champion, InterSteps Championship (8 wins, 7 pole positions, 16 podiums, 6 fastest laps
Karting CV Highlights
CIK-FIA U18 World Karting Champion
MSA Super 1 British Junior Karting Champion
ABkC KF3 O-Plate Champion
KF3 Winter Series Champion
MSA Super 1 British Junior Karting Vice-Champion
CIK-FIA KF3 World Cup runner-up
Superkarts USA SuperNationals TaG Junior Champion
KF3 Winter Series Vice-Champion
BRDC Stars of Tomorrow KF3 Champion
KF3 Winter Series Vice-Champion
FIA EUROPEAN FORMULA 3 BACKGROUND
Formula 3 is a major stepping stone en route to the pinnacle of motorsport. A total of 17 drivers who competed in Formula 1 in 2013 made their way into Grand Prix racing via the feeder series.
The closely matched 'open spec' European formula fields similar limited downforce chassis / engine combinations, shod by a single tyre supplier, Hankook. The 210bhp, four-cylinder, 16-valve, twin overhead cam power plants accelerate from 0-60mph in 3.0 seconds and can reach 160mph dependent on circuits and gearing.
RSF driver Jake Dennis will compete in a VW-powered Dallara F312 chassis engineered by 2013 European Formula 3 race winning squad Carlin, which also clinched its ninth British F3 championship during the year.The European series features three races per race weekend (see calendar below) the format for which comprises a two-hour free practice session, two 20-minute qualifying sessions and three 35-minute races (of approximately 100km each). The fastest and second fastest times in Qualifying 1 determine the grids for races 1 and 2. The fastest times in the second qualifying session set the grid for race 3.The series visits race circuits in eight countries.2014 FIA European Formula 3 Calendar
19-20 Apr Silverstone (R1-3 with WEC)
03-04 May Hockenheim (R4-6 with DTM)
10-11 May Pau (R7-9)
31 May-01 Jun Hungaroring (R10-12 with DTM)
21-22 Jun Spa-Francorchamps (R13-15 with WTCC)
28-29 Jun Norisring (R16-18 with DTM)
12-13 Jul Moscow Raceway (R19-21 with DTM)
02-03 Aug Red Bull Ring (R22-24 with DTM)
16-17 Aug Nürburgring (R25-27 with DTM)
11-12 Oct Imola (R28-30)
18-19 Oct Hockenheim (R31-33 with DTM)