Menezes steps up to FIA F3 European
American rising star Gustavo Menezes will embark on the next step of his climb up the motorsports ladder in 2014, contesting the highly-regarded FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The talented Californian will we rejoin multiple junior formula champion Van Amersfoort Racing, having highlighted his standout skills as a rookie race winner in last year’s ATS Formel 3 Cup.
Menezes has been focused on reaching the upper echelons of motorsports ever since first getting behind the wheel. With that goal in mind, the highly-regarded American racer returns to European junior formula action in 2014, entering the renowned FIA Formula 3 European Championship. With an impressive inaugural F3 campaign already under his belt, the Van Amersfoort Racing driver is poised to be an immediate challenger for places on the post-race podiums.
A former title-winner in the karting ranks, and championship contender in the Star Mazda Championship, Menezes made the move to Europe last season, quickly showcasing his pace and racecraft as a rookie in the competitive German-based ATS Formel 3 Cup. Partnering with Netherland-based Van Amersfoort Racing, the 19 year-old Californian scored two wins against more experienced competition, ultimately finishing second in the Rookie of the Year fight, and fourth overall in the championship chase.
2013 was a big year for Gustavo, and one which saw him achieve the results which we knew were possible from a driver of his natural talent and ability. – stated Menezes’ manager Chris Harfield – The combination of Gustavo’s revived work ethic and his professional approach, combined with the supportive environment which was created by VAR, really played a big part in his success last season. I am delighted we are able to keep Gustavo with VAR for the next challenge of his career, and we are highly motivated to making sure Gustavo continues his development and achieves the maximum level of success in 2014.
We are really delighted to have Gustavo with us for the 2014 FIA F3 season – commented Van Amersfoort Racing principal Frits Van Amersfoort – 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. Gustavo has a unique way of lifting the team’s moral 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, and we are all very excited to getting the season underway.
The 2014 edition of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, which has helped develop/train multiple Formula One drivers and champions, will feature 11 events throughout Europe at some of the premier tracks, including the Silverstone Circuit, Hockenheimring, Spa-Francorchamps, Red Bull Ring, Nürburgring and Imola. Running in conjunction with both the German DTM touring car series, and the FIA World Endurance Championship, Menezes will pilot a Dallara chassis with Volkswagen powerplant, and new for 2014, utilize a six-speed paddle shifter.
The quest for FIA Formula 3 European Championship supremacy begins on April 19-20, with the opening rounds at Silverstone in England. Menezes will contest the entire 2014 campaign, as well the year-end prestigious Macau Grand Prix in Asia. Prior to the action getting underway, the Van Amersfoort Racing pilot will prepare via continued pre-season testing in Europe.