Reigning Formul’Academy Euro Series Champion Benjamin Bailly has become the latest driver to enter the FIA Formula Two Championship for 2010.
Since making his karting debut in 2004, 19-year-old Bailly has cut a rapid ascent through the motorsport ranks. He finished third in the French Elite Championship in 2006, and claimed fifth overall in the premier Formula A World Karting Championship the following year.
Bailly enjoyed his most successful season to date in 2009, where a superb campaign saw him claim the overall Formul’Academy Euro Series championship with six wins, five podiums and three pole positions from the 14 races. He took victory in the second race in his debut weekend at Valencia and his run to the title also included a win in Oschersleben and a double victory at Monza – all circuits that F2 will visit in 2010.
The Belgian driver’s progression to F2 has been assisted by the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium National Team, which helps promote and develop young Belgian racing talent. The RACB National Team also includes Jerome D’Ambrosio, 2010 test driver for the Renault F1 team, as well as Formula Renault 3.5 Champion Bertrand Baguette and German F3 Champion Laurens Vanthoor.
Benjamin Bailly said: “Formula Two is a great championship and I’m delighted to be joining it for 2010. I like the concept of the series, and the fact that all the cars are equal means the driver makes all the difference – in other categories, if you’re not with a good team you can’t get the results. Andy Soucek also proved what a good learning step F2 is when he set the fastest time in his Formula One test in Jerez. I’m sure it will be a really competitive season, especially with the upgrades made to the car, but I proved I could be fast when I tested in F2 at Portimão, and I’m certainly targeting podiums and even race wins this year – a good season would be my way of thanking the team RACB officials!”
Jonathan Palmer, Formula Two Series Director, said: "I’m delighted Benjamin is joining us in Formula Two as our first Belgian driver. I have seen the Formul’Academy Euro Series and it is clearly very competitive and based, like F2, on providing drivers will identical equipment. Benjamin’s successes in Formul’Academy were due to his superior driving ability, not budget and team superiority, and I’m sure this experience will serve him well in F2. Benjamin’s talent was obvious in the winter F2 tests when he was always towards the top of the time sheets whilst he also had a great approach to his racing, being intelligent, personable and hard working. He has some very professional advisors and the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium is to be commended on providing vital financial support to one of their country’s most promising drivers in his quest to reach F1”.
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