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“FIA F3: …as does America’s Menezes”

January 9, 2014

Also yesterday, it was confirmed that American racer Gustavo Menezes is to graduate to the FIA European F3 Championship with van Amersfoort Racing this year.

The 19-year-old contested the ATS Formula 3 Series with the Dutch squad last year, taking two victories and six podiums, leading to an overall finish of 4th in points.

Menezes is also a veteran of the Road to Indy programme, where he raced in the Pacific F2000 Championship, before spending two years switching between the Star Mazda Championship {note 1} and Formula Renault 2.0 litres in Europe.

Frits van Amersfoort – the team principal of the squad that bears his name – is confident that based on past performances Menezes will be able to establish his presence. “Gustavo did a great job for us in the ATS team, and developed over the course of the season extremely well; winning races and making regular appearances on the podium.”

An element that often gets taken for granted in motorsport is team morale and confidence; however van Amersfoort acknowledges that Menezes personality does much to lift the team. “Gustavo has a unique way of lifting the team’s morale and making the race team a genuinely more energetic place. This is a skill which I am sure will serve him well in the coming season, and will see him make his transition into the FIA F3 Championship smooth and successful. Pre-season testing has been very encouraging.”

Whether this brings actual results is yet to be discovered; however van Amersfoort will at least be hoping for a better year than last season, when Dennis van de Laar and Måns Grenhagen peppered races with inconsistency and heavy accidents.
Grenhagen’s departure and the arrival of the steady Sven Müller helped bring points on board, although one wonders if Menezes will be able to count on similar support from a second driver.

{note 1}
Star Mazda is now known as the Pro-Mazda Championship and sits below Indy Lights on the Road to Indy ladder.

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