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South African karting champion Denyssen joins SWR for 2016

Friday, December 18 2015

Sean Walkinshaw Racing (SWR) has signed South African racer Eugene Denyssen for the 2016 BRDC Formula 4 Championship, becoming the team's first confirmed driver for next year, it has been announced today (December 18).

The 19-year-old competed in South African Formula Ford in 2014, where he finished seventh overall, before taking a sabbatical from racing in 2015. Prior to his graduation to single-seaters, Denyssen, who hails from Somerset West near Cape Town, enjoyed a strong karting career beginning in 2009 when he won the Rookie of the Year award in the South African Mini Max category.

He followed this up by finishing fourth overall in 2010 before progressing to international level in 2011, whilst also racing in his homeland; the teenager finishing sixth in the Junior Rok National Championship and representing South Africa in the Rok World Final. His most successful season came in 2012 when Denyssen won the WP Regional Championship and the Junior Max National title, earning him a place in the Rotax Max Grand Finals.

The following year he progressed into Senior Max, finishing third overall in South Africa, and in 2014 he won the South African Open Championship and also competed in the Senior Max World Finals.

Denyssen originally tested the previous Ralph Firman Racing-designed BRDC F4 car with SWR at Anglesey in late 2013 and has now graduated to the championship as the series introduces the all-new, more powerful Tatuus Cosworth.

Denyssen said: "This is a very exciting and important step for my career and I can't wait to work with the guys at SWR in BRDC F4 next year. Although I haven't raced this year, we've been working hard behind the scenes to put a package together to enable me to compete in the UK.

"The test I did with SWR at the end of 2013 went very well, I gelled with the team straight away and we've been in contact since hoping to make this deal happen. I'm not underestimating the size of the challenge, it's a tough championship and a new car too, but I'm sure we can have a strong year."

SWR Team Principal Sean Walkinshaw added: "We're obviously very happy to have agreed a deal with Eugene for next season, he impressed us when we first tested him in the old car a couple of years ago and I'm sure he'll get to grips with the new Tatuus-Cosworth with a good pre-season. The new car is a big step forward, much quicker and with significantly more aero, but Eugene has shown a lot of potential so far."

The 2016 BRDC Formula 4 Championship season features 24 races across eight meetings and gets underway at Snetterton in Norfolk on March 27/28.