The team made a commitment to enter the championship back in early in 2013, some time before the decision was made by F4 series organisers MSV to cap car production, and they have been working on their programme ever since. As a result of PetroBall’s entry, the maximum grid size for BRDC F4 in 2014 will increase to 26 cars.
PetroBall Racing already compete in Cross Country events in Brazil in events such as the Rally dos Sertoes (similar to the Dakar Rally) as well as in karting across various national and regional championships.
They have decided to form a team in the UK to give Brazilian drivers a more familiar environment when leaving Brazil at a young age, enabling them to acclimatise better to new surroundings. The two drivers for the team will be announced in due course and the team will move to premises in Milton Keynes in January, recruiting engineers and mechanics from the UK while also while also providing a home for the drivers to live together. The team will also run in the Ginetta Junior Championship with an additional two cars, allowing for a graduation path of karting into Ginetta Junior and then F4.
PetroBall Team Principal Jose Roberto Sabathe is eagerly anticipating taking delivery of his two cars and setting up base in the UK: “We believe that BRDC F4 gives us the best package both technologically and promotionally for young drivers starting their car racing careers after karting, and we’re very excited about racing in the BRDC F4 Championship and competing in the United Kingdom.
“The UK is well known for being an important proving ground for up and coming racers and we saw that the South American drivers performed very well in F4 in 2013, and we look forward to contributing to that success in 2014. We can’t wait to get started and get our cars on track!”
BRDC F4 Series Director Jonathan Palmer commented: “It is very exciting that Petroball have chosen to join our BRDC F4 championship. Brazil has some superb young talent and a great history of producing F1 drivers, so it is a great endorsement of UK F4 that a Brazilian team is setting up here for Brazilian drivers.
“With our BRDC F4 championship, I believe the UK now has the best value and most competitive junior series in the world in which drivers can compete, learn and showcase their burgeoning talent, whilst benefitting from the wonderful variety of closely located circuits this country provides.”