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NZ driver signed for the Formula One academy

Wednesday 12th October 05

New Zealand driver signed for the Formula One academy - Red Bull Junior Racing Team

Brendon Hartley has been nominated for the 2006 Red Bull Junior Racing Team.

After two days extensive testing at the A1 racing circuit in Estoril, Portugal in a Formula Renault, Hartley was chosen with three others to join the Red Bull Junior Racing Team.

The trials involved 22 drivers from USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hungary, Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, France and Malaysia who were invited to test for the Formula One academy, the Red Bull Junior Racing Team. The drivers were vying for a coveted spot on the Team as they tested Formula BMW, Formula Renault, and Formula 3 cars on the famous circuit.

Hartley (15) who in July this year won the 2005 Elite Motorsport Academy Award was asked to trial for the team after a trip to Italy where he tested for Tatus. After two days of testing in Portugal under the direction of Dr. Helmut Marko, the Red Bull motor sport consultant, and Danny Sullivan, the Indy 500 winner 1985, who has been working for the Red Bull Driver Search program in the US for the past 6 years, four young drivers were selected for the team.

Selected alongside Hartley were Nathan Autunes (AUS), Niall Quinn (IRL) and Jamie Alguersuari (ESP). The successful drivers will be placed in a Formula racing series in Europe and provided with financial support valued at approx (euro) 100,000 a year.

Now in its sixth year, the Red Bull Junior Racing Team is the most successful scholarship program for young motor sports talent. To become a member of the Red Bull Junior Team is an exciting fast track to a career in Formula One.
The aim of the program is to assist talented young race-car drivers to advance their professional racing careers and reach their ultimate goal – Formula One. They receive sports training within the different racing series as well as physical and mental performance training. These drivers are supported by Red Bull to compete in a junior racing Formula in Europe. They are expected to push themselves to their greatest potential and have to continually prove their talent to retain their place on the Junior Team.

The results of the Red Bull Junior Team since its inception to 2004 speak for themselves: 4 years, 7 titles, 70 race victories, 89 pole positions. Furthermore five drivers that have made it to the Formula 1: Christian Klien (AUT - Red Bull Racing), Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA - Red Bull Racing), Patrick Friesacher (AUT - Minardi), Enrique Bernoldi (BRA – BAR Honda), Narain Karthikeyan (IND – Jordan).

As of the 1st of November 2005, Austria’s Red Bull GmbH will take over all the company shares of the Minardi Formula 1 team and will be responsible for running the team. Red Bull will therefore run two Formula 1 teams from the start of the 2006 season onwards. One of the reasons for Red Bull deciding to enter a second team starting in the 2006 Formula 1 World Championship is that Red Bull has more talented drivers than it has available cockpits and now with the purchase of Minardi they can increase the number of cockpits available.

ENDS

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