Dino's raring to start Formula Two campaign
Clifton driver Dino Zamparelli has no fears about stepping up a level when he gets his Formula Two Championship bid underway this weekend.
Zamparelli, 19, will take the next step on the road towards his Formula One dream at Silverstone today following his impressive Renault BARC Championship title success last season.
He goes to Silverstone armed with the experience of just one test day in his new Formula Two car – but insists he is ready to make his mark in a field which includes some of Europe's top young single-seat drivers.
"I haven't got the financial support to do a lot of practice sessions, so I tend to go in once to get a feel of the car and then it's on to race day," said Zamparelli.
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"I've had one test day in the Formula Two car, which isn't ideal. It's pretty much how I've done it throughout my whole career, so it's not something that bothers me too much. The testing went very well. It was my first time back in a car since November, so it was really just a case of blowing away the cobwebs.
"The car is hugely different from the one I won the Renault BARC Championship in last year, but it doesn't take me long to get up to speed once I get a feel for it.
"It's a lot faster and everything from the tyres to the grip is different, but I liked the feel of it and I'm confident of doing well in it this weekend."
The chance to test a Formula One car is the tantalising prize on offer for the winner of the eight-race series, which takes in some of Europe's most famous race venues.
"It will be a great experience for me," said Zamparelli. "The chance to win a test in a Formula One car is a fantastic incentive for a young driver like me. There are some good experienced drivers in the competition, but I don't really focus on them. It's all about what I do and what I can achieve that I tend to focus on.
"The good thing about Formula Two is that the cars are all pretty much the same, so driver talent plays a massive part in who will win the Championships. I always go in to every race believing I can win whether I've had one practice session or ten. I'm confident in my own ability and I'm ready to compete."
Zamparelli, however, is still having to work hard to secure the finance to get through the season.
Funding for this weekend's trip to Silverstone was secured earlier this week – but the efforts to raise the money for rounds three and four in the Algarve next month continues.
"I haven't got full sponsorship for the whole season, so it is a case of getting on the grid from race-to-race at the moment," said Zamparelli.
"Once I'm on the grid I know I have the ability to do well and I'm ready to keep battling away to find a sponsor to help me through the whole season."