Duncan has signed a deal to drive the remainder of the 2008 Formula Renault 3.5 Series with Italian team RC Motorsport. Since testing the World Series car last November in Spain, he has been trying to secure a drive, and finally an opportunity and funding came together.
Duncan will make his race debut at his home event at the Silverstone circuit on June 7 with a second race on Sunday 8. Six events remain in the 2008 calendar and Duncan will make the most of his rookie year to get used to driving the 500bhp V6 3.5-litre car, capable of speeds up to 290 kph/180 mph.
Although he hasn’t raced in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, he has driven the previous version of the car when he was a McLaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist in 2005 and 2007, as well as the two days testing in Valencia. Off-track, Duncan co-commentated on the international English feed for a race at Monza last month, when the Renault series shared billing with the Le Mans Series in which he was driving, so he has had the chance to study the rivals he will face on the track.
Following his races at the Northamptonshire circuit, Duncan will travel to Hungary, Germany, France, Portugal and Spain to compete in one of the most competitive high-level single seater series in the world. The aim of the series is to nurture young talent from around the world and provide a vital step towards Formula One. Former drivers include Heikki Kovalainen, Fernando Alonso and Robert Kubica.
RC Motorsport will prepare the car and team owner Cristiano Giardina will be Duncan’s race engineer. The Milan-based team was established in 1989 and has helped many successful drivers though that time, including Giancarlo Fisichella, Alessadro Zanardi and the aforementioned Kubica.
Duncan said: “I’m ecstatic that we’ve managed to get a World Series drive sorted and to be with RC Motorsport is excellent. They have a great history and I’m really looking forward to getting on the track at Silverstone. The Grand Prix circuit is probably my all-time favourite track so there couldn’t be a better place for me to start out. I’m very grateful to everyone that helped make this happen and I’ll do my best and show what I can do.”
Cristiano Giardina, Team Owner, RC Motorsport, added: “When it became a possibility that Duncan would join the team I analysed his career and liked what I saw and I’m very happy to have him as a rookie with the team. I think it’s an advantage for him starting at his home circuit that he knows well and will help with the pressure that comes with such a competitive series.
“I’m quite confident that we’ll find what we need from him. For us it’s good to get him as we’ve had a difficult season so far so this is a fresh start for us.”
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