Oliver Rowland and Jake Dennis have joined The Racing Steps Foundation to finalise its 2011 driver line up. The karting stars join James Calado and Jack Harvey in the elite single-seater squad.
18 year old Rowland will move into the Formula Renault UK series with Fortec Motorsport, while 15 year old Dennis will join the new InterSteps Championship, also racing for long time RSF backer Fortec.
Rowland secured the seat after an extensive evaluation and test process, which including competing in the Formula Renault UK Winter Cup, in which he finished an impressive seventh. Dennis' transition into car racing has been helped by the introduction of the RSF supported InterSteps Championship, which allows 15 years olds to enter provided they turn 16 during the course of the season.
The duo will be mentored by Calado, who will be competing in GP3 with the Lotus ART Grand Prix team, and Harvey, who is joining the 2011 British Formula 3 International Series with title-winning outfit Carlin.
Leaving the RSF driving line up after three years is Oliver Turvey, who's development programme reached its conclusion in 2010, though the GP2 driver will remain in the team as an advisory and mentoring role.
RSF founder Graham Sharp said: “The promotion of Oliver Rowland and Jake Dennis from karts to cars completes our single-seater line-up for 2011,”
“All the drivers are accomplished race winners and have been placed with outstanding teams to give them the best possible opportunity to show what they’re capable of.
“Since the inception of the Foundation in late 2007 we’ve enjoyed remarkable success in identifying and supporting talented but under-funded British drivers who would undoubtedly have fallen by the wayside without our help.
“All have shown themselves to be to be worthy of the investment made in them, demonstrating that they have the talent and dedication to make it into the top echelons of motorsport.
“Oliver Turvey, our first signing back in 2007, leads the way in that respect. He’s now on the cusp of becoming a professional racing driver which is what we set out to achieve. So from our point of view it’s now a case of ‘mission accomplished’.
“To have played a part in steering him to the doorstep of F1 has been a huge privilege. We wish him every success in the future.”