Belardi Auto Racing has become the first USF2000 squad to formally announce that its 2014 driver line-up has been completed.
The team announced today that Nico Jamin of France will become the fourth and final driver in its 2014 program. He joins returning drivers Daniel Burkett and Michael Epps as well as newcomer and fellow Frenchman Florian Latorre, who will jump to Belardi from JAY Motorsports.
From the release:
Jamin started his racing career just three years ago in karting. After winning many national races in his first karting season, he made the transition to racing cars. In 2012 running in the European Formula 4 Auto Sport Academy, he brought home four podiums and finished 7th in the championship. His consistent progress throughout the year helped guide him to take on the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Championship in 2013, where he finished the championship in the top-10 in his very first season.
“We’re really happy to have Nico complete our USF2000 line-up for 2014,” said Brian Belardi. “He has learned to adapt very quickly in the cars he’s been in before, so I look forward to seeing him adjust to fit in at our team right away. I expect him to be able to compete for wins this season. I’m glad to see Nico start his rookie season in the Mazda Road to Indy program with Belardi Auto Racing. I believe he will be a great addition to our team.”
Jamin commented, “I am so happy to participate with Belardi Auto Racing at the USF2000 Championship for 2014. After my first test, I had only one thing in mind: joining the others drivers in this category and Florian (Latorre) will be one of my teammates next year! I want to thank enormously Brian Belardi and Chuck Lessick to trust me for next year. I will do my best to win races as soon as possible. I also want to thank my parents, all my partners, and my manager Thierry from 13th Avenue for giving me this fantastic opportunity to join the “Mazda Road to Indy” program, that is so well organized by Andersen Promotions. I can’t wait to be at Barber Motorsports Park in a few days for the first official test with my new team.”
This move sees the team go from five cars to four for 2014. It also opens the question of where the three drivers left in the cold by this confirmation will have yet to announce their plans for next season: Danilo Estrela, the young Brazilian who finished 7th in the points and won the second race in Toronto for the team; 17-year-old Peter Portante from Plainville, Connecticut, who ended the year with two podium finishes and 10th in points; and 15-year-old Matt McMurry from Phoenix, AZ, who wound up 21st in points on the year and appears to be moving toward sports cars for 2014.