Virtuosi to support new Comtec entry in Auto GP

Auto GP race-winning team Virtuosi Racing is to support a new entry to the series called Comtec by Virtuosi for the remainder of the season

Virtuosi to support new Comtec entry in Auto GP

Virtuosi Racing will continue unaffected, but will assist in preparing a third car to be run by its Norfolk neighbour Comtec Racing, which took Alx Danielsson to the 2006 Formula Renault 3.5 title.

Venezuelan Roberto La Rocca, the reigning American F2000 champion, will run in a singleton entry from the forthcoming round at the Nurburgring onwards.

La Rocca has competed in Formula 3 this year, winning races in Brazil and participating in three European championship rounds with West-Tec.

Virtuosi Racing team owner Declan Lohan told AUTOSPORT: "The Comtec team and management will run the car.

"We looked at the option of running Roberto in a third car, but with the Auto GP cars being so big and powerful, we have doubts that a third car can be successful. Quite often third cars seem to suffer and the driver loses out."

Lohan said that Virtuosi has gauged La Rocca's potential in private testing in England and been impressed by his performances.

"The plan is that Comtec by Virtuosi will field two cars in 2014," added Lohan. "It's great that we're able to play a part in bringing a successful World Series team like Comtec into the Auto GP paddock."

Earlier this year, Virtuosi Racing and Comtec announced a partnership that would assist driver development in winter testing.

Comtec team manager Phil Blow told AUTOSPORT that a move into Auto GP was something he had subsequently considered for some time.

"I am sure we can deliver a good job for Roberto. His car will be run by our staff, but Virtuosi will prepare the car.

"Although with the link between the two teams it was natural that we should help run the car, rather than Virtuosi's existing programme being disrupted, Auto GP was something that we were looking at anyway.

"We need to expand and do other things. World Series is very, very good, but the big picture elsewhere in racing is difficult, so we don't want to get complacent.

"Given the high budgets and level of competition in World Series now, it is difficult for new young drivers to come in and get good results in their first year. Doing Auto GP first makes a lot of sense for some drivers."

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Series Auto GP
Author Peter Mills