Woking motor racing team Double R Racing is delighted to today, Monday, 16th March, confirm Ayrton Simmons – a finalist in last year’s Aston Martin Autosport BRDC ‘Young Driver of the Year’ Award – as the squad’s first signing for the 2020 Euroformula Open season.
The 18-year-old, from Epping in Essex, graduates onto the European stage with Double R this year after finishing an impressive third overall in his first full season of Formula 3 action in the BRDC British F3 Championship in 2019.
Taking three race victories along the way, Simmons ended the year with 10 podiums, five fastest race laps and three pole positions. His performances were so impressive, they earned him a place in the final four of the prestigious Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award.
Prior to moving into F3, Simmons had already made heads turn in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA powered by Ford Ecoboost. Debuting in 2016, after graduating from a successful title-winning karting career, the Briton became a podium finisher in his first season in British F4.
In 2017, Simmons achieved his first race victory in the championship on his way to seventh in the standings and the following season he raced to the Vice-Champion’s position with four victories along the way. He also made his bow in BRDC British F3 that year, contesting eight races.
“I am delighted to be part of this amazing and challenging championship,” said Simmons, looking ahead to his first season as a Double R driver, “I am really looking forward to it, although it will be a challenging year racing on circuits I have never raced before. Double R is an incredible team, though, and I know I’m in a fantastic environment in which to learn and develop more as a driver. I can’t thank Double R and my sponsors Naked Speed, Gears, Drywall Solutions and Adrian Flux enough, they made this happen and I wouldn’t be part of this grid without them – so a big thank you to all of them. I’d also like to thank my family for working so hard over the winter to help make sure I can go racing this year.”
Heading into the squad’s second season in the Euroformula Open, Double R team principal Anthony Hieatt is determined to build on the successes of last year where the squad finished just eight points shy of the ‘Rookie’ title with Swedish racer Linus Lundqvist.
Lundqvist, of course, won the BRDC British F3 title with Double R the year prior and so Hieatt has very high hopes Simmons will be able to follow in the Swede’s wheel tracks with a suitably strong maiden season in the ultra-competitive category.
“It’s great to have someone as talented as Ayrton becoming our first driver for Euroformula this season, he had a fantastic year in British F3 in 2019 and really did deliver some super-competitive performances – we kept a close eye on what he was doing,” said Hieatt. “Obviously there will be a lot to learn in his maiden season in Europe, learning all of the tracks and adapting to a new car, but I’m confident we can perform very well together. After a strong first season in the championship last year with two rookie drivers, we’re aiming for more progress this time around.”
For the coming season, the championship will run the new Dallara 320 which meets stringent FIA safety standards with features such as the ‘halo’ cockpit protection device, carbon extractable seat and an upgraded fuel cell.
With revised aesthetics, reflecting those of a current Formula One car, Double R’s Dallaras will continue to be powered by HWA engines. The squad is expected to confirm Simmons’ team-mate over the next few weeks.
Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France, is set to host the opening event of the Euroformula Open season over the weekend 25th/26th April and will go on to visit the famous Pau street circuit in France, Spa in Belgium and Hockenheim in Germany among others. The championship will be contested over 18 races and will conclude on 24th/25th October in Barcelona, Spain.