Fortec signs Chinese racer Cao for British Formula 3
|By Marcus Simmons||Thursday, December 5th 2013, 15:10 GMT|
Formula Renault BARC race winner Hong Wei 'Martin' Cao is to step up to British Formula 3 with Fortec Motorsport next season.
Cao, who finished fourth in the Renault BARC standings with Fortec this year, made his F3 test debut with the squad at Silverstone earlier this week.
The 20-year-old Chinese racer impressed the team with his commitment on his first taste of the Dallara-Mercedes.
Team manager Andi Scott said: "Usually when someone has their first run, you expect a bedding-in process. He seemed to avoid that and went to pushing quite quickly straight away.
"He did very reasonable lap times, although it's hard to judge because he was on Cooper tyres [British F3 rubber] and our other cars were on Hankooks [from the European championship]."
Fortec also ran Australian Mitchell Gilbert, who raced in Euro F3 with Mucke Motorsport this season, and Colombian Tatiana Calderon, who has driven with Double R Racing in 2013.
"We were happy with all three drivers," said Scott. "The track was very quick and it was a good test."
The team will test Gilbert and Calderon again next week at Barcelona, along with Briton Matt Rao, who is another graduate of FRenault BARC and is aiming for British F3 in 2014.
It is understood that Calderon will move to Jerez after her Fortec test for a tryout with Carlin.
Scott also reaffirmed his team's commitment to the Dallara F312 chassis for British F3 as opposed to the older F308, which many claim is a quicker car and may need increased weight to balance the two models.
"Regardless of how things pan out, we're trying to prepare people to move on to European F3," he said.