Singapore, 21 February 2011 – After a successful rookie formula car season, Formula BMW Pacific 2010 champion and top rookie Richard Bradley will be racing in the 2011 All-Japan Formula 3 Championship with TOM’S, the performance and racing arm of Japanese automotive brands Toyota and Lexus. The 19-year-old Singapore-based driver will be competing in his debut F3 season this year.
Established in 1974, TOM’S Co. Ltd. specialises in the tuning of Toyota engines and other touring car components, competition parts as well as in the development and sale of semi-Toyota genuine parts. TOM’S is also the appointed works racing team of Toyota Motor Corporation and has scored a number of notable successes both in Japan and abroad.
“We are very happy to have Richard onboard. We followed his progress during the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific series and noticed his outstanding performance. The first time we heard of him though, was back in 2009 at the CIK-FIA World Cup in Suzuka,” said S. Koumi, general manager of the racing department and overseas operations in TOM’S.
Having had testing sessions with TOM’S during the winter, Bradley commented, “Joining TOM’S is a boyhood dream come true for me. I’ve always admired TOM’S and having the opportunity to drive for them is a real honour. F3 is a crucial step towards Formula 1 and I know I am in good hands. I look forward to a fantastic year of great success with the team.”
TOM’S has an impressive F3 track record, with remarkable successes in its history of F3 since 1985. It won 14 out of 16 races in the 1988 British F3 Championship with drivers such as 1996 F1 champion Damon Hill and former F1 drivers Martin Donnelly and J.J. Lehto. Subsequently, TOM’S won the All-Japan F3 Championship for the first time in 1991 and has won it 14 times (1991, 1993 – 1995, 1997 – 1999, 2003, 2005 – 2010) to date.
Former All-Japan F3 champions TOM’S have groomed include eight-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, two-time All-Japan GT champion Michael Krumm, former F1 driver Pedro de la Rosa, 2010 Australian Touring Car Champion James Courtney and F1 driver Adrian Sutil. TOM’S has also won the prestigious Macau Grand Prix five times (1992, 1998 – 1999, 2007 – 2008).
“It would be good if he could win the championship in his first year in F3 like he did in Formula BMW Pacific, but it is not easy as everyone knows. It is probably best to stay in F3 for two seasons since there is simply so much to learn. It’s a long-term relationship we are building here and we’d like to see him as a world-class top racing driver in three to four years realistically,” Koumi added.
The first two rounds of the All-Japan F3 Championship starts on 16 – 17 April 2011 at Suzuka Circuit, Japan.