JIM RUSSELL FUTURE DRIVER SEARCH 2010 WINNERS COMPETE FOR 2011 FIA FORMULA TWO CHAMPIONSHIP “SEAT”
Article By: Jimrusselusa.com
*Fully funded FIA Formula Two Championship drive in 2011 to winner of next year’s Jim Russell Championship Series
*Sportscar legend Allan McNish to award two early Christmas presents in the Jim Russell Future Driver Search 2010 Selection Process
*Cost-effective Future Driver Selection entry deadline is end of November
Two competitors selected in the Jim Russell Future Driver Search 2010 in December will find themselves battling for a fully funded prize drive in the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship.
The F2 “seat” goes to the outright winner of the 2010 Jim Russell Championship Series (JRCS) – a 16-race series which the two successful candidates from the Future Driver Search Selection process over 19-22 December will contest as their “prize”.
The European-based F2 series was launched this year and features a Williams F1 developed single-seater. The F2 champion is awarded a test with the Williams Formula One team while the top-three finishers in the FIA F2 Championship qualify for an FIA Superlicence and thus are eligible to compete in F1.
It effectively means that either of the two chosen Future Driver Search drivers could, should he or she ultimately win the 2010 JRCS, land the F2 “prize drive” for just US$7,995 – the registration fee for the Future Driver Search Selection initiative which reaches its entry deadline at the end of November.
“The addition of the Formula Two award to our series champion firmly sets the Jim Russell Championship Series as the premier developmental formula car series that provides an excellent path to the upper echelons of motorsport at an amazingly modest cost thereby putting the emphasis on talent, not budget” commented Chip Pankow, President of the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School.
“It’s possible that a driver could win two seasons of racing courtesy of our Future Driver Search. The first in our JRCS next year and then in F2 the following season – and perhaps a shot at a Formula One test with Williams F1 should that driver win the F2 title – all for an investment with us of US$7,995.”
The Future Driver Search program is an international initiative created this year to find the best young talent from the worlds of karting and “junior” formula car racing. It is designed to be a merit-based competition that rewards the two best young drivers with a fully-funded season of racing in the 2010 Jim Russell Championship Series (JRCS).
Ex-Formula One driver and double Le Mans 24 Hour race winner, Allan McNish, the Chairman of the Judges and his fellow panel members will choose two drivers (19-22 Dec) on a variety of criteria both in and out of the car, at an intensive four-day selection process at the world famous Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California (USA) – a venue formerly known as Sears Point 40-miles north of San Francisco which features an impressive state-of-the-art 16,000 sq. ft. Jim Russell Racing Drivers School complex.
The emphasis in the selection process for the first of the two prize-drives is on the most “well-rounded” individual who shows the best potential to succeed in professional motorsports. The second prize will go to the driver setting the fastest lap in the Final.
“We’ll be looking at elements including speed, precision, car control, application of feedback, technical understanding of the vehicle, strategy, media awareness and also fitness for the one successful candidate,” confirmed McNish.
“But the second ‘seat' will simply be for the fastest driver in the Final. Sometimes, and I've seen it throughout my career, a driver may not be particularly polished in all areas because of never having the experience. They’re a rough diamond but have natural feel and they just drive – fast!
“The Future Driver Search initiative offers incredible value-for-money – especially with the F2 ‘seat’ on the horizon for the winner of the 2010 Jim Russell Championship Series.”
All participants will be involved in kart practice, auto-cross, skid pad and practice laps in the Jim Russell FJR-50 single-seaters over the opening two days (19-20 Dec), The top-20 finalists are then invited to race karts and practice the cars (21 Dec) with the final six contesting three qualifying sessions in the FJR-50 on the fourth and concluding day (22 Dec).
The car used in the Future Driver Search program and JRCS is the FJR-50 single-seater based on the Formula Three championship winning Lola B06-30. Powered by a turbocharged two-liter Mitsubishi engine delivering 300bhp through a five-speed sequential gearbox, the Lola-built chassis is made from carbon-fiber and runs on Yokohama “slick” tires.
Being a racing school first and foremost – an operation that was established by Jim Russell in Britain over 50 years ago and that put the likes of newly crowned Formula One World Champion Jenson Button, Emerson Fittipaldi, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart, Scott Speed, Danny Sullivan and Jacques Villeneuve on the road to success – the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School offers a complete driver training program courtesy of some of the finest coaches in the world. The cost for a “seat” in the 2010 JRCS is US$129,000.