James Cole is the latest driver to confirm he will be competing in the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship, after a standout performance at the recent pre-season tests at Silverstone and Snetterton. The 22-year-old Briton impressed by frequently running in the top ten over both days and even topping a session at the new Snetterton 300 circuit yesterday (Wednesday), despite his previous lack of experience in the Williams JPH1B F2 car.
The highly-rated youngster has already been part of the MSA British Race Academy, as well as a McLaren Autosport Award finalist and BRDC Rising Star. In 2009 he won the British Formula Ford Championship and came third in the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch, before stepping up to the British F3 National Class last year, finishing as runner-up. James now makes the step up to F2 and international racing for the first time.
“I chose F2 because of the enjoyment of driving the car”, said James. “It’s got a lot of power and it’s great that everyone’s got the same equipment – you don’t have to pay for a better car and I’m looking forward to a good season. The first test at Silverstone went well, we were in the top six straight away and I’d never driven the car before, so if I can regularly be in the top six we’ll see what happens from there. The winner’s prize of an F1 test with Williams is fantastic.”
Formula Two Series Director Jonathan Palmer said: “James has enjoyed a great deal of success in his racing career so far and is clearly an outstanding prospect, so we’re delighted he’s competing in F2 this year. He adapted to the Williams F2 car remarkably well in the tests at Silverstone and Snetterton, and was impressively quick from the outset. I’m looking forward to seeing what he achieves this season in the equal environment of Formula Two, where he’ll be competing against a field of exceptionally talented drivers across some truly legendary F1 circuits.”
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