Italian racer Michela Cerruti signs for Norfolk-based Super Nova for 2014 Auto GP season
- Credit: Archant
Reigning Auto GP championship winning team Super Nova has announced Michela Cerruti as its first driver for the 2014 season as the Norfolk team attempts to secure a hat-trick of titles.
The 26-year-old Italian racer left a strong impression on the team, based at Griston, near Watton, after proving she could be extremely fast in the Auto GP car after four days testing for the team last year.
'We worked well with Miki during our winter test program and were very impressed with her performance over the four days that we spent in Vallelunga and Jerez, where she was consistently in the top three on the time sheets,' said team manager John Sears.
'We are excited to be part of her development and believe that she has the ability and capacity to compete at the front of the Auto GP field.'
'Miki' as she is commonly known, made her Auto GP debut at Nurburgring last year and immediately performed well, scoring points in both races, and will use her lucky number 88 to race with this year, a number that she also carried for her first win in GT's.
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'It is great to join Super Nova in Auto GP,' said Miki.
'I feel it was a lucky shot to begin the relationship at the end of last year in order to help decide on my direction for 2014.
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'For a driver it is good to know that I have a winning team and car combination and we worked very well in the testing together.
'I know that I need to improve and the team has already shown that they will help to guide me.
'It is the first time I have worked with a non-Italian team and I admire the way that Super Nova work and appreciate and understand that we are pushing for a common goal.
'The team work is a key factor and it is important to see that the team believes in me so that I can concentrate on driving, knowing that everything else is taken care of professionally.'
The local team are determined to keep their nose in front of the Auto GP opposition and have formed a technical partnership with Cranfield University and its world renowned motorsport engineering educational centre.
'The relationship with Cranfield University is an exciting one on a number of levels,' added Sears.
'Our team philosophy is built on educating our staff and drivers in order to deliver the success that Super Nova has achieved over the years and Cranfield's reputation in the field of motorsport engineering is fantastic.'
Clive Temple, programme director and senior lecturer at Cranfield, was very positive on the new relationship for his students.
'The partnership with Super Nova will provide Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc students with the opportunity to enhance their understanding of motorsport as practitioners working with the team and its drivers.
'This partnership has the potential to underpin thesis projects for example.'