NZ Formula First Graduates - The 'International Boys' - 28-Apr-2008
Given that the New Zealand Formula First season is now over, many of our competitors' attention turns to overseas racing - and in particular some of our past competitors who are footing it with the world's best in various international racing series.
Here's quick look at some of our former members who are currently tackling the international scene.
Scott Dixon (Indycar)
Scott holds several records in New Zealand Motorsport. Scott won his one and only season in Formula First, a feat that has since spurred many a young hopeful to emulate him. After winning in Formula Ford and Formula Brabham/Holden, Scott set his sights on the US scene. There he ran in the Indy Lights series, eventually making the transition to the Indycar series, where he won the Championship in 2003. Now a consistent front-runner in the series, Scott is set for a long career in Indycar, should he wish to stay there.
Shane's meteoric rise through the various classes on his way to V8 Supercars was nothing short of stellar. Within a few short years of trying his hand at circuit racing (previously having done Quarter Midget racing on dirt and some kart racing) Shane was quickly snapped up by Team Kiwi and then just as quickly shipped to the Stone Brothers racing team.
Shane has been on great form recently and is touted by many in the series as "one to watch".
Never one to forget his roots, Shane will return to drive our annual One Hour race this weekend.
Brendon Hartley (British Formula 3 International Series)
Brendon came into formula first as a fresh faced 13 year old. He was immediately quick and was always destined to finish high up the ranking in any class he raced in. Having competed in Formula Ford, the Toyota Racing Series and a few different international classes, Brendan is competing this year in British Formula 3 (one of the key feeder series to GP2 and Formula One itself) and just this morning took his first victory - a major achievement for a New Zealander - and a feat that hasn't been achieved since the days of Mike Thackwell (late '70s, early '80s).
As one of the Red Bull Junior Development team, Brendan recently tested the Red Bull Formula One car. He has also done some rookie duties for the New Zealand A1GP team. Brendan's chances of making it to Formula One seem to strengthen day to day. If he can keep his pace up in Formula 3, he could very possibly be New Zealand's next Formula One driver.