16-YEAR OLD TARUN REDDY CONFIRMED FOR 2014 FORMULA RENAULT CHAMPIONSHIP WITH MGR MOTORSPORT
April 03, 2014: 16 year old Indian driver Tarun Reddy today confirmed his participation in the 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship with reigning champions MGR Motorsport. This will be the Indians first taste of single-seater racing in Europe in what proves to be a highly competitive field.
Tarun, who is managed by MRF Challenge race winner Rupert Svendsen-Cook, will make his UK racing debut in Protyre Formula Renault having tested with MGR Motorsport at the end of last year. The teenager, formerly part of the Sahara Force India F1 Team Academy, progressed from karting into cars at the tender age of 15 in the MRF 1600 series. Underlining his promise, Tarun became the youngest ever winner of a race in the category in only his third outing. Tarun got his year off to a great start by winning both races in the first round of the 2014 MRF 1600 Championship.
Tarun will have his first race this weekend at Rockingham International Super Sportscar Circuit in Northamptonshire. A beaming Tarun said, "I am really happy to be racing in the Protyre Formula Renault Championship in the UK. Everyone knows that doing well in the UK is key to having a successful racing career. We spent the second half of last year seeing which championship to race in for 2014 and we feel this is the best option for me. This is not going to be easy as the field is really competitive and many drivers are in their second year of the championship.
"Unfortunately I could not get as much testing as I wanted due to my exams. My parents have made it clear that school is priority above anything else so I have been travelling up and down to the UK between my exams. I would like to follow in the footsteps of Narain (Karthikeyan) and Karun (Chandhok) and do well in the UK to further boost my career."
Regarded as the most popular and cost-effective junior single-seater series in the UK, the Protyre Formula Renault Championship is the perfect entry-level category for all aspiring young drivers and a key rung on the ladder towards the FIA Formula One World Championship.
His team-mates include Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of double World Champion Emmerson Fittipaldi, Matteo Ferrer, who debuted with MGR in Protyre Formula Renault in 2013, and Colin Noble, the reigning Radical SR1 Cup Champion.
MGR Motorsport Team Owner Mark Godwin was impressed by the level of maturity showed by Tarun and was confident of him doing well. He commented, “Tarun has impressed us in the testing he’s done with us, it looks like he could be one to watch and he’s got Rupert (Svendsen-Cook) behind him looking after his career. Rupert knows the Renault is the best car for Tarun to learn in and this is where he needs to be. I’m sure he’ll be very competitive from the off and we’ll have four strong drivers. The aim is to try and emulate what we did last season!”
Rupert Svendsen-Cook, who has been managing and helping Tarun was confident of a good showing by the young Indian. He commented, "This is a big weekend for Tarun. Since first starting our working relationship in Coimbatore we have come a long way to be here in one of the most competitive single seater series in Europe. We have had to work hard to balance his school exams and testing mileage over the winter but Tarun has shown great ability and progress behind the wheel. Tarun has substantially more experienced team mates this year which is a great advantage for him to learn quickly. It's a relentless sport and we have a long way to go but I think Tarun can surprise a few people this weekend."
Tarun heads into the Championship with limited testing compared to other drivers. He said. ". I know it will be tough to get acclimatized but I am ready for the challenge."
In recent years, the championship has enjoyed a huge increase in popularity and stature and has been the birthplace of some of the sport’s most talented young drivers. Dean Stoneman, the 2007 Vice-Champion, went on to test a Formula One car within three years of racing in Protyre Formula Renault and also won the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
Alice Powell, who made history as the first female to ever win a Formula Renault title anywhere in the world when she claimed the 2010 Protyre Formula Renault crown, graduated into GP3, 2011 champion Dino Zamparelli earned a place in the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finals.
For 2014 the championship will be contested over 15 rounds at six race events with a mixture of double-header and triple-header race meetings. Excitingly, the grand finale will once again form part of the British Touring Car Championship event at Silverstone in late-September.