2010 Protyre Formula Renault champions Hillspeed are planning to run a two-car squad for the 2014 season, with Greek driver Dimitris Papanastasiou their first confirmed driver.
Papanastasiou made a return to competitive racing after four years away in last November’s BRDC Formula 4 Winter Championship, achieving a best finish of seventh position in his eight races with Hillspeed.
The former Formula Palmer Audi racer faces a steep learning curve heading into Formula Renault, and starts the season with an initial target of top ten finishes.
“I don’t know the Formula Renault so it will be all about learning for me,” said Papanastasiou. “I have had one run so far, at Blyton Park, and although you can’t get the high speeds there you understand the handling of the car. The Renault is a much tougher car than the F4, it’s more challenging and so more satisfying when you do get it right.
“The aim is to do well on the circuits I know, like Brands Hatch and Snetterton, and fight to be in the top ten. If I can improve each weekend, get a bit quicker and a bit more competitive, I’ll be happy. I’m delighted to be with Hillspeed again, it’s a very professional team.”
Hillspeed have had a tough few seasons in the category, having not picked up a race win since the 2010 title-winning campaign with Alice Powell. The team were front-runners last season though with Jake Cook, six podium finishes giving him fifth in the final standings.
“We’re very happy to be able to continue our working relationship with Dimitris this year, he’s a pleasure to work with and thoroughly enjoys his racing,” added team principal Richard Ollerenshaw. “The move into Protyre Formula Renault will be another new challenge but we’re sure we’re going to be able to help him achieve his goal of top ten finishes.
“Now we’ve secured Dimitris’ signature for the 2014 season, we’d like to hear from drivers looking to race in Protyre Formula Renault to fill our second seat. It looks set to be another strong season for the championship and we’re delighted to be part of it again.”