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Dragon F4 is excited to announce that Young Racing Driver Academy (YRDA) star Oscar Piastri has signed for the 2016/2017 F4UAE Championship.
The leading Australian junior karter has starred in the CIK/WSK OK Junior karting category this season and comes into the F4UAE Championship following a strong performance at the CIK FIA world junior championship in Bahrain.
“Dragon F4 welcomes Oscar to our team for the 2016/2017 F4UAE Championship and we are excited to be working with Oscar and the YRDA this winter as we help him make the transition from karts to cars ahead of a competitive European campaign in 2017,” said Dragon F4 Team Principal Brad Fincham. “The programme we have compiled for Oscar offers the perfect platform to prepare a young driver ready for their first season in cars, with the F4UAE Championship offering an unrivalled amount of track time per race weekend.”
In a short space of time, 15-year-old Piastri claimed numerous accolades on the Australian karting scene before heading to Europe, including titles in CIK Stars of Karting, taking second in his first Australian Nationals in Junior Clubman, plus wins in the City of Melbourne Titles, the Victorian State Titles and South Australian State Titles, and claimed third in the X30 Junior IAME Final in 2014.
“I am really happy to join Dragon Racing for three rounds of the F4UAE Championship as I prepare for the 2017 racing season,” said Piastri. “We’ve had some really positive test days in the UK this year and I have learned a lot about the car and how to drive it, but nothing beats getting out on the track and racing wheel to wheel. I have raced at many of the world’s best karting tracks over the last few years but to have my first F4 race at the Yas Marina F1 circuit is going to be pretty cool!”
As a motorsport operation, Dragon Racing has twice been crowned the Pro-Am class champions at the Dubai 24 Hours endurance race including third outright in 2015 in their Ferrari 458 GT3, plus most recently won the 2015/2016 Saudi Arabian GT Championship in a McLaren 650S GT Sprint.
Dragon Racing Chairman, Leon Price, commented: “Although Dragon F4 is a new team for this new exciting series here in the United Arab Emirates, we have handpicked our staff from top European teams to ensure that we deliver the very best service and support all Dragon drivers are accustomed to. Since the introduction to Oscar, we have followed his racing very carefully and look forward to welcoming this rising star to the family that is Dragon Racing. All of the team is excited to see what Oscar can do behind the wheel of a Dragon F4 car.”
Keith Procuik, HP Tuners CEO: “We are very proud to support Oscar in his move to Formula 4 racing. There is no doubt he has the ability to reach the elite level of motorsport and we know he will embrace this new challenge as he transitions from karting into cars. As a leading manufacturer of aftermarket tuning and diagnostic tools for high performance vehicles, HP Tuners has a great number of customers throughout the Middle East and Europe who share that spirit to push themselves and their cars to the limit and beyond on the race track.”
Jamie Horner, CEO of TBOS and Director of the YRDA: “We are delighted that Oscar will be the first YRDA driver to race in the UAE F4 Series and that he will be racing with YRDA international partner team Dragon F4, as he continues his preparations for the 2017 season. Oscar has already shown impressive pace and maturity in testing and we are really looking forward to seeing him take his first single-seater races in the UAE with Dragon. We are confident that he will achieve the results that his talent and dedication so richly deserve.”
Piastri will join the Dragon F4 team for Round 2 of the F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth from December 14, where he will participate in two days of testing prior to the competing on the world famous 5.55km at Yas Marina Circuit across the weekend of December 16-17, 2016.