Just five days ahead of the opening rounds of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series, Double R Racing has added a further driver to its team. Twenty-year-old Formula Ford graduate Geoff Uhrhane will line up on the Oulton Park grid on Saturday (7 Apr) at the wheel of one of the team’s Mercedes-powered International class chassis.
The 11th-hour deal means Australian Uhrhane will step up to Formula 3 without the benefit of the pre-season test days which his rivals have undertaken. Team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt is delighted to have secured Uhrhane’s signature for 2012: “Everything’s happened very quickly – we’re delighted to have agreed a deal with Geoff, he’s a very talented young driver and a fantastic prospect. Missing all of the pre-season testing isn’t ideal and he will have his work cut out to get to grips with the Dallara F312 at Oulton. Having said that, we’re sure Geoff is going to be a strong force in the championship as the year progresses.”
Double R is planning to run the Australian at Pembrey in Wales before heading up to Cheshire for the season curtain-raiser. Other than that, Uhrhane’s only other chance to obtain practice mileage will be during a 55-minute session ahead of official qualifying at Oulton Park on Friday.
“It’s all been a bit of a rush, I took too long to make my mind up of where to race this year but we talked with Boyo and got a deal sorted out so I’m really happy about that,” said Uhrhane. “I’ve had only a couple of test days in a Euro F3 Open car; they went well, and hopefully we’re going to have a run at Pembrey before going to Oulton.
“It’s going to be really hard for the first couple of weekends until I get some decent testing and mileage under my belt. I’m sure we’ll start moving forward pretty quickly after that though, plus F3 is a two-year plan anyway.” With Uhrhane’s arrival at Double R, the team’s line-up has been bolstered to three cars, with Fahmi Ilyas to contest the headline International Class in a sister Mercedes-engined Dallara F312 while Duvashen Padayachee will race a Mugen-Honda powered Dallara F308 in the National Class.
Uhrhane was a double race winner and multiple podium finisher in the 2011 Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, and a Formula Ford EuroCup race winner at Spa-Francorchamps.