New Zealander Marcus Armstrong is preparing for his first Formula Renault race in Europe, taking on the long fast straights and sweeping turns of the Nurburgring Formula One circuit in Germany.
Armstrong is currently based in Oxford, England, as he pursues his motor racing career. He has been racing karts in Europe this year with the factory Tonykart team, competing against the best karters in the world in the hotly contested KZ class right up to European and World Championship level.
Karting is widely acknowledged as the best foundation for any driver with aspirations of reaching the highest level of motorsport.
Now, Armstrong is preparing to move up to full-sized single-seater categories. The move to racing in Formula Renault 2.0 this weekend is part of that preparation programme.
In between his competitive karting events he has tested a Formula Renault car at Spa, Silverstone and Monza.
“Testing lets a driver get familiar with the driving dynamics of full-sized ‘wings and slicks’ modern composite race cars. Racing is completely different. To make the transition next year I need competition experience at this level. This weekend is the next step for me,” he said.
Armstrong says he will run with a leading team in the intensely competitive championship this weekend as part of a longer-term plan to race single-seaters in Europe next year.
“I’ve been very fortunate to secure a place with the respected R-ace GP team, which was formerly ART Junior team. The parent team, ART Grand Prix, races in GP3 and GP2 and a wide range of premier categories here in Europe.”
The team will add a car for Armstrong at this round. He races alongside the team’s three regular drivers Max Defourny (Germany), Julien Falchero (France) and Will Palmer (Great Britain).
The Nurburgring race is the penultimate round of the 2016 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Championship.
“I’m very much looking forward to gaining experience and knowledge from the racing and also within the team this weekend. I have driven the shorter Formula 3 circuit at the ‘Ring but not the F1 circuit so it’s definitely a massive step forward for our plans,” he said.