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SA Kart champ gets F4 race seat

2013-11-01 11:16

FAST FORWARD: SA National kart champion Eugene Denyssen from Somerset West has been offered a Formula 4 seat for the 2014 season. Image: Eugene Deyssen Racing on Facebook

South Africa's National kart champion Eugene Denyssen has jolted his career forwards by earning a Formula 4 race seat for the 2014 season.

Denyssen recently spent time testing the F4 race car at the Anglesey Race International GP Circuit in Wales (UK) with the Sean Walkinshaw Racing Team and surprised to secure a first offer of a race seat with the team for the 2014 BRDC F4 championship.

VIDEO: Denyssen's test lap

The young racer is a South African National Kart champion who has also been racing in the European championship Senior Max for Dan Holland Racing.


The SWR team racing in the F4 series usually comprised Ken Page (former Arrows F1 manager), Brendon Gibbon (race engineer in F1, F2 and Indy Cars with Jody Scheckter), Mick Gomme (Jordan and Force India F1), and Dan McKenzie (Aston Martin race development driver).

The F4 series is also considered a next generation F1 series and has the support of F1 teams, among them McLaren. Denyssen was the only driver without single-seat racing experience or knowledge of the circuit conditions.
Kart drivers who test for the first time in F4 are about 15sec off the pace of experienced drivers but Denyssen surprised everyone on an old set of tyres and matched the times of the best driver from the UK.


Dan McKenzie said: “Today was one of the most solid starts I have witnessed for a driver straight from karts in a single-seater car and I reckon that you can sleep well on what you have done in just one day!”

On the last day Denyssen beat the 1min24 pace per lap. This was 0.5sec faster than any other driver on slick tyres. Chief engineer and F1 guru Brendon Gibbon sealed the moment as Denyssen cruised into the pits: “Do you want to keep going!”

It was at that moment everyone realised Denyssen’s potential what he had achieved, endorsed by an F1 guru recognising a young driver, without track knowledge, first time in a race car, on worn tyres who had out-performed experienced drivers producing exceptional speeds.

Denyssen was offered the first-driver seat with SWR for the 2014 BRDC Formula 4 series and has received interest from other recognised single-seater race teams. He is a Grade 11 student at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
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