SWB Motorsport have today confirmed that Scandinavian racer Atte Lehtonen will return to Protyre Formula Renault in their second car. The 19-year-old Finn will race alongside series newcomer Jack Butel at the Daventry based outfit. Lehtonen returns to the series after his learning year with SWB which saw him take his two best results in the final two meetings of the year.
Lehtonen’s Achilles heel last year was a lack of testing, despite which he placed inside the top ten at both Rockingham and during the televised round at Silverstone supporting the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. The Finn plans additional testing this year, though he will not be at the media day and official test at Rockingham. He will instead debut at the first round of the championship on 5th April.
Lehtonen’s career started in karting before joining the Finnish Formula Ford Championship in 2011. He travelled to the UK to race in the 750 Motor Club’s F4 series after claiming the title of Rookie of the Year for his maiden season in cars. Last year he raced with SWB in Protyre Formula Renault, achieving a pair of tenth place finishes as his best. His results do not show his achievement however as he started in 20th at Rockingham and 18th at Silverstone.
The series promotor Simon North said in a statement, “it’s fantastic to see Atte returning to Protyre Formula Renault this year and we’re delighted SWB has two cars on the grid this season. It’s yet another endorsement of the category’s stature and continued cost-effectiveness we are continuing to attract so many international drivers.”
Atte’s arrival brings the number of nationalities represented in Protyre Formula Renault to nine between fourteen confirmed drivers.