Reigning Formula Pilota China Champion Antonio Giovinazzi and fellow category race winner Sean Gelael will graduate to the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series next year after today, Tuesday, 18th December, finalising their respective 2013 deals with Double R Racing.
Indonesian 16-year-old Gelael and Italian Giovinazzi, who celebrated his 19th birthday last week, will each drive a Mercedes-powered Dallara F312 in the headline class of British F3 as both – who are part of the same ‘Sean GP’ management stable – make the move into the ultra-competitive world of Formula 3 after just a single season in cars.
“It’s fantastic for us to have filled two seats already for 2013, we’re absolutely delighted to have Sean and Antonio onboard and really looking forward to working with them over the winter and into the new season”, commented team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt, “I’ve been out to Malaysia a few times to watch them both in action and they’ve been very impressive.”
“They’re very quick, very talented young drivers and did a sensational job in their first season in cars this year. Sean’s performances, at such a young age, belied his limited experience and Antonio’s results tally speaks for itself – he dominated the championship. Both have a strong pedigree from karting and, in testing with us at Pembrey in the F3 car, they showed a great deal of promise.”
Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, Gelael is a true rising star of Asian motorsport and made a huge impact during his debut season of car racing in Formula Pilota this year. Ending the campaign fourth overall in the championship, and second in the ‘Best Asian Driver Trophy’, the youngster brilliantly achieved his first win during the season finale at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Gelael also competed in the last three races of the 2012 Formula Abarth Championship at Monza in Italy and delivered an excellent series of performances, securing a best result of seventh place and a hat-trick of top 10 finishes.
The youngster’s karting debut came in 2008 in the ranks of Senior Rotax, having already been a champion co-driver in Indonesian National Rallying, and just two years later he claimed his first title in karts with victory in the Senior Formula 125 Asian Karting Open Championship. The following season, Gelael was third in the Asian Karting Open before making the move into cars.
Giovinazzi secured several race victories and numerous podiums on his way to the Formula Pilota China Championship title this year, sealing the crown a full 50 points clear of experienced British single-seater racer Dan Wells.
Like stable-mate Gelael, the Italian also debuted in Formula Abarth at Monza in September where he won two of the three races during a rain-hit final weekend of the season. Starring on his first outing, Giovinazzi scythed his way through from the back of the grid to claim a maiden win in the opening encounter before capping off the weekend superbly with another victory in race three.
His motorsport career began in karting in 2006 where he won the Italian National Trophy 60cc title and the Euro Trophy before graduating into the ranks of KF3 where he was second in the Torneo Industrie and Copa Campeones Trophy contests in 2008.
Finishing third in the KF2 class of the Trofeo Andrea Margutti in 2009, Giovinazzi was a consistent front-runner at European and World level over the next two years in KF2 – finishing second in the 2011 Bridgestone Cup and third in the CIK-FIA World Cup.
Oulton Park in Cheshire will host the opening three rounds of the 2013 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series across Easter weekend with the action commencing on Good Friday, 29th March, and then concluding on Saturday, 30th March.