Karting star Lorandi follows Verstappen lead into F3

Italian karting star Alessio Lorandi is to follow in Max Verstappen's footsteps and race in the Formula 3 European Championship with Van Amersfoort Racing

Karting star Lorandi follows Verstappen lead into F3

Unlike Verstappen, who contested the Florida Winter Series before competing in F3, the 16-year-old Lorandi will be making his car racing debut when he lines up on the grid for April's Silverstone opener.

The deal comes after Lorandi tested a VAR Dallara-Volkswagen at four different circuits.

His first run came at Lausitz in October, before he took in a concerted Formula Renault testing programme.

He returned to the cockpit of a VAR-run F3 car at Silverstone, Monteblanco and Valencia before deciding to jump straight into the category for 2015.

Team boss Frits van Amersfoort said: "When we speak with Max, he always says the only guy who came into his neighbourhood in karting was Alessio Lorandi, so we'd better do a deal with him!

"When we first ran him at Lausitz you could clearly see he had no experience, but when he came back a few weeks later we could see how good he was - he's a good little driver.

"We all understand it's a big step for him like it was a big step for Max, but even if he does just a little bit of what Max did it will be great."

Lorandi is the first driver confirmed for 2015 with Dutch team VAR, which is understood to be close to announcing its second driver.

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