GP2 Series race winners Hilmer Motorsport are to become Force India’s junior development team from this season.
Debuting in the category last year, the Hilmer team impressed after taking wins with Robin Frijns, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Jon Lancaster.
For this season, the German squad will be competing with GP3 Series runner-up Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt – the latter of whom joined the team from ART Grand Prix in November.
Such is the nature of the collaboration, both Regalia and Abt join Force India’s development programme, partnering 15-year-old karting star Jehan Daruvala. As well as becoming Force India’s junior squad, Hilmer will also incorporate Force India’s traditional colours of green, white and gold into their livery scheme.
Having received the €200,000 scholarship from the GP3 Series at the end of last season, Regalia is understandably delighted with both his move to GP2 and the possibilities the tie-up to Force India brings.
The deal also offers the Hilmer pilots a shot at driving the Force India Formula One car come the young driver test – a factor that clearly excites Regalia: “The chance to drive a Formula One car at the end of the season is also a huge motivation. My focus is to work as hard as I can to make sure we are fighting at the front of the field and getting the best results possible.”
For Hilmer Motorsport team principal Franz Hilmer, this deal is a very welcome one. “We are very happy about the collaboration between Hilmer Motorsport and Sahara Force India Formula One Team. I’ve had an association with Sahara Force India for ten years and we are looking forward to working together on a sporting level going forward.”
Looking to his drivers, Hilmer added: “With Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt we have two very talented, young drivers with the potential to progress to Formula One. We will do our best to support them on their way to the pinnacle of motor racing.”
It is not the first time Hilmer has touched Formula One. The German was one of the backers behind the failed bid to get Brabham Grand Prix on the grid for the 2010 season. If nothing else, this may eventually become an avenue for Hilmer to finally enter the top category.
Hilmer have also been a supplier of mechanical parts to various Formula One teams and are well known in the sport’s circles.