Reigning Australian Formula Ford champion Anton De Pasquale has secured a seat in the Formula Renault 1.6 NEC Championship.
De Pasquale will compete in the Northern European Championship for top outfit Lechner Racing.
The deal with Lechner Racing was brokered jointly by Mark Larkham and his long time friend and driver manager Greg Siddle.
Larkham has taken De Pasquale under his wing via the former V8 driver and current TV commentator’s new Gold Coast-based Australian Motor Sport Academy.
The NEC Championship forms part of the 1.6, 2.0 and 3.5-litre Formula Renault ladder system.
Second generation grand prix racer Kevin Magnussen is the most famous product of the Renault series after being pitched into McLaren’s F1 team this year following his win in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2013.
De Pasquale is preparing to base himself in the Austrian city of Salzburg for his European debut year.
The Lechner team has recorded 34 championships in Europe from Formula Ford, Formula Renault and Porsche Supercup titles.
Some of its drivers have included former grand prix drivers Karl Wendlinger, Alexander Wurz and Christian Klien.
“A lot of effort and commitment by many has allowed this to happen. It’s a dream for any young aspiring race driver,” De Pasquale said.
“It’s a tough gig, I’m up for it – I have a top drive and I want to succeed, so I intend to make the most of this fantastic opportunity.”
Larkham said: “We think Anton’s a bit special, and Mick Ritter at Sonic, Anton’s parents and his sponsors have done a great job bringing him to this point.”
De Pasquale will commence a shakedown test ahead of an extensive pre-season test program commencing late March at Hockenheim, Assen and Zandvoort, prior to the first round kicking off at Circuit Zandvoort near Amsterdam on April 21.