The opening round of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Middle East at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi (9-11 February) will serve as an initiation ceremony for those recruited to FFF Racing Team’s Young Driver Development Programme.
FFF Racing scoured the planet for the most promising young talents and four drivers from the UK, mainland Europe, India and Australia were judged to be deserving of a nomination to the newly-established scheme.
German teenager Carrie Schreiner was the first to be signed-up, having followed a supreme karting career with successful Formula 4 campaigns, to then be nominated for the ADAC Stiftung Sport scholarship.
Schreiner of Saarland said: “For me, everything is new – I have a car with a roof, there are driver-changes to think about and all the tracks are unfamiliar – but I’m really looking forward to my first sportscar race and I think my preparations have been good. I’m hoping to learn a lot and I’m happy to be part of a great team with such nice teammates.”
British young gun, Jack Bartholomew, was next to be recruited for FFF Racing’s Young Driver Development Programme, which is designed to promote and nurture youthful talents and provide them with opportunities to climb the motorsport ladder.
The Sussex-based racer was a consistently strong performer in his maiden season of car racing in the 2016 British GT Championship and he impressively finished runner-up in the final GT4 classification.
Bartholomew has left no stone unturned while preparing for the next phase of his career in Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo and he continues to push on with a rigorous dietary and exercise regime in Abu Dhabi.
“I feel physically and mentally prepared for this first event in Abu Dhabi and the entire season,” said Bartholomew. “It is now a case of getting to grips with the tracks and working with FFF Racing Team to make sure we have the best package on the grid. I feel I have the right people around me to make it happen and I’m ready to work hard to get the desired results.”
Parth Ghorpade from Kolhapur, India was nominated for FFF Racing’s Young Driver Programme after testing one of the team’s Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeos at Cremona in Italy.
The 22-year old has a strong pedigree in single-seaters but spent last year behind the wheel of an LMP2 prototype in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) and he plans to use this experience to get the jump on his Super Trofeo rivals and reward FFF Racing with strong results in Abu Dhabi.
“Im really looking forward to my first sportscar race,” said Ghorpade. “I’m really happy with FFF Racing Team, as it is doing a great job at keeping things on the mark and making me feel comfortable. I hope for a strong start to 2017 and I’m feeling very positive.”
The fourth and final addition to FFF Racing’s Super Trofeo ranks was Spike Goddard, who travels from his home near Sydney to Abu Dhabi as part of an ongoing bid to forge a career as a professional sportscar racer.
The Sydneysider initially ascended the single-seater ranks in his native Australia, the UK and Europe, but he is no stranger to one-make sportscar championships and his experiences in the Porsche Carrera Cup and the Formula 1-supporting Porsche Supercup should serve him well in Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
“I’m feeling good about everything so far,” said Goddard. “FFF Racing Team has been very welcoming and informative and that’s making my experience with the new Lamborghini very pleasant. I am looking forward to getting in the car for the first time this weekend and seeing what kind of lap time I can achieve. I am lucky that I have driven in Abu Dhabi before, because knowing where I’m going will make learning the car a lot easier.”
FFF Racing Team Owner, Sean Fu Songyang, said: “This is the start of something really exciting for FFF Racing. We have always taken pride in our ability to provide a competitive and professional platform and it’s positive that we’re now in a position to use our experience and expertise to nurture young talents like Carrie Schreiner, Jack Bartholomew, Parth Ghorpade and Spike Goddard.
“FFF Racing has boosted its involvement in Lamborghini Super Trofeo because we feel it is the place for aspirants to refine their on and off-track abilities and develop all the skills modern-day professional drivers need to succeed, and the calibre of this year’s entry is evidence of this. We have what it takes to extract every ounce of performance from these drivers and we’re pleased to be starting the process in Abu Dhabi.”