Marcus Armstrong to join elite Ferrari Driver Academy
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Christchurch driver Marcus Armstrong has been named to join the elite Ferrari Driver Academy, the first Kiwi to be selected by the Maranello based squad. The elite Ferrari Driver Academy is a fast track programme that delivers racers into the top categories of international motorsport.
He has been selected alongside Enzo Fittipaldi (15), the grandson of two-time Formula 1 world champion Emerson, with the pair’s commitments for 2017 yet to be confirmed.
Armstrong, 16, was a factory TonyKart driver racing KZ and KZ2 class karts at world championship level in Europe this year and made his initial steps into single seaters in October. He contested one round of each of the Formula Renault Northern European Cup, Formula Renault Eurocup and BRDC British Formula 3 Autumn Trophy with a best finish on debut of fourth overall. He will contest the five week long Castrol Toyota Racing Series (TRS) in New Zealand in January-February 2017.
The academy is Ferrari’s elite driver programme and aims to assist young drivers toward the highest categories of motor racing including Formula One.
Founded in 2009, it has propelled several drivers into F1 including Sergio Perez and Jules Bianchi.
One current FDA driver, Guan Yo Zhou, has contested TRS (2016) while academy and TRS alumni from recent years are Raffaele ‘Lello’ Marciello, Brandon Maisano and 2015 TRS champion Lance Stroll, who steps up to Formula One with the Williams team in 2017.
Armstrong and Fittipaldi were selected after an evaluation test at Fiorano in November. They join GP3 champion Charles Leclerc and Antonio Fuoco, who are both GP2-bound in 2017, as well as Giuliano Alesi and Guan Yu Zhou on the FDA programme.