Vastly experienced single-seater racing team Mark Burdett Motorsport has today, Friday, 3rd March, officially confirmed a full time move into the ultra-competitive Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup with talented new 2017 signings Julia Pankiewicz and Presley Martono.
Marking a key moment in the history of the Lincolnshire squad, which has enjoyed considerable success in Formula Renault in the UK and on the continent in the Northern European Cup (NEC), the new season will be the team’s first full campaign in the blue riband Eurocup.
Highly rated teenager Martono will make his European racing debut with Mark Burdett Motorsport this year, as part of possibly the most competitive junior single-seater grid in the world. The 16-year-old from Jakarta in Indonesia won the South East Asia Formula 4 Championship, which culminated in January, thanks to a sparkling maiden season in cars where he claimed nine wins.
After finishing runner-up in the 2011 Asian Karting Mini ROK Open Championship and winning the Rotax Max Challenge Asia MicroMax title, Martono was third in Rotax Junior RMC Asia two years later, third in the Junior Rotax International Open in 2014 and became Vice-Champion in CIK-FIA European KF Junior in 2015.
Polish 17-year-old Pankiewicz, whose twin sister Wiktoria is also a racing driver, arrives at the team with one year of Formula Renault experience under her belt from the aforementioned NEC category and a one-off outing in Eurocup last year. In 2015, her maiden season in cars, she raced in Italian Formula 4 where she claimed the F4 Woman Trophy.
During her formative karting career, Pankiewicz progressed to a significantly high level which culminated in CIK-FIA European and World KF Championship bids in 2014 – the year she finished an impressive fifth overall in the Rotax International Open.
“Mark Burdett Motorsport has been racing in Formula Renault 2.0 since the introduction of the category in 2000, competing in the UK and NEC, and now the team is ready to step-up into Formula Renault Eurocup”, said team principal Mark Burdett, “We are delighted Julia and Presley will be racing for the team this season which we hope will be a strong and competitive year.
“Julia tested with us over the winter and made great progress, working closely with her engineer and driver coach. Presley has a good background, both in karting and from winning the South East Asia Formula 4 Championship – we’re looking forward to working with both drivers to achieve our goals.”
The first ‘official’ outing for Pankiewicz and Martono in Mark Burdett Motorsport colours will be the opening collective test of the pre-season at Magny-Cours, France, on Wednesday, 15th March, and Thursday, 16th March.
Following visits to Paul Ricard in France and Germany’s Nurburgring for more pre-season mileage, the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup teams will travel to Monza in Italy in readiness for the opening two rounds of the 23-race season over the weekend 22nd/23rd April.
Visiting some of the world’s premier Formula One venues during the course of the 2017 season, the championship highlight will undoubtedly be the double-header in support of the Monaco Grand Prix at the end of May.
2017 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Calendar
Rds1/2 Monza, Italy 21-23 April
Rds3/4 Silverstone, UK 12-14 May
Rds5/6 Pau, France 19-21 May
Rds7/8 Monte-Carlo, Monaco 26-28 May
Rds9/10/11 Hungaroring, Hungary 30 June-2 July
Rds12/13 Nurburgring, Germany 14-16 July
Rds14/15 Red Bull Ring, Austria 21-23 July
Rds16/17 Paul Ricard, France 25-27 August
Rds18/19/20 Spa, Belgium 22-24 September
Rds21/22/23 Barcelona, Spain 27-29 October