New Zealand motorsport’s open wheel proving ground has a new naming rights partner, with leading racewear supplier Vortex Racewear backing the Formula First Championship for the 2013/14 season.
The Vortex Racewear Formula First Championship will be contested over eight rounds across the North Island, with events at Pukekohe, Hampton Downs, Taupo and Manfeild from Labour Weekend through to Easter 2014.
As a proven unrivalled development formula for budding young drivers, the list of successful graduates from the 1200cc, VW-powered open wheelers reads like a ‘who’s who’ of New Zealand motor racing.
Drivers including Scott Dixon, Brendon Hartley, Shane van Gisbergen, Mitch Evans, Richie Stanaway, Jono Lester, Nick Cassidy and countless others have come through Formula First, and are now competing at an international level.
Following in their footsteps are rising stars who will challenge for the 2013/14 title including defending Champion Rowan Shepherd, Taylor Cockerton, Ryan Hellier and the latest graduate of the hugely successful Speedsport Scholarship, James Webb.
It is for the continuation of this successful pathway, says Vortex Racewear Director Jono Lester, that the company has thrown its support in behind the Formula First Championship.
“For over forty years now the Formula First has not only been the best breeding ground for our stars of tomorrow, but also staged some of the most exciting wheel to wheel racing ever seen in New Zealand,” Lester commented.
“With our long family history in Formula First we are passionate about supporting it and seeing it thrive, as well as promoting our growing range of safety products and crowning a new Champion this season who we can follow on the world stage in years to come!”
Formula Vee Association of NZ President, Ian Foster, believes the partnership firmly justifies the place of Formula First racing in New Zealand motorsport.
“Formula First is really excited about the new partnership with Vortex,” he said.
“It allows us to continue to provide young drivers – and some old! – with great racing and a helping hand to develop the skills needed to reach the professional level.
“It’s the perfect fit with the brand and with our series, and the continuation of the association that the Lester Family has had with Formula Vee/Formula First is really wonderful.”
Three generations of the Lester family have competed in Formula First, with more than 20 seasons in the class between them. Rob Lester, a three-time Champion, is the long-standing and current Patron of the New Zealand Formula First Association.
In addition to supporting the series as a whole, Vortex Racewear will support the Scorpion Scholarship programme for a second year with both inaugural winner Jacob Smith, and 2013/14 winner Reed Harker.
Launched in 2010 by the Lester family, Vortex Racewear supplies the market with a large range of FIA and SFI rated products including helmets, multi-layer race suits, boots, gloves, teamwear and accessories.
Vortex Racewear can be purchased securely online at www.vortexracewear.com or by visiting their dedicated premises in Pukekohe, south of Auckland.
The 2013/14 Vortex Racewear Formula First Championship kicks off at the Taupo Motorsport Park on October 26-27 as part of the IRC Race Series.
More details about Formula First can be found at www.formulafirst.co.nz or by following ‘Vortex Racewear Formula First Championship’ on Facebook or @formulafirstnz on Twitter. Join the conversation using the hashtag #formulafirstnz on social media platforms.
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