Sixteen-year old karting graduate Roberto Lorena will join Quantum Racing Services for the 2012 F1600 Formula F Championship Series, running a Honda-powered Van Diemen in his first full year of open-wheel racing.
A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Lorena now makes his home in Boca Raton, Florida. He will begin a comprehensive test program with Quantum next month, prior to the season opening F1600 Formula F Championship at Virginia International Raceway in April.
“I am definitely looking forward to taking the next step in my racing career, moving up from karts to my first proper formula race car,” Lorena said. “Quantum has achieved great results working with young drivers, and I am looking forward to learning, improving my skills and contesting for race victories this year.”
Lorena will drive a Honda-powered Van Diemen entered by Quantum Racing Services of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Quantum is headed by racing veteran Wendell Miller, with more than 35 years in the sport and success at all levels from Club Racing to IndyCars.
“We believe Roberto has a lot of potential, and look forward to assisting him make the transition from karting to cars,” Miller said. “Karting provides a great foundation for a young driver, and at Quantum we’ve always excelled at taking a young driver into formula cars and provide them with the skills they will need to have a future in the sport.”
Lorena started his karting career in 2009, competing in local championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2010, he moved up to contest national championship events, with highlights including a pole in qualifying for the Kart Brazilian GP, and a fourth-place finish at the Brazilian Championship at Volta Redonda, near Rio de Janeiro.
In 2010, he moved to the United States and continued karting in the Rotax Florida Winter Tour, the South Florida Rotax Rmax Championship and Rotax Pan-American Championship. He finished his year taking part in the SKUSA Supernationals in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Last year, open-wheel rookie Wyatt Gooden piloted Quantum’s Van Diemen to a perfect four F1600 Series wins in four starts. He also qualified on the pole for three races, on the front row for all four, and set three fastest race laps.
In 2010, Quantum took rookie F2000 Championship Series driver Dan Erickson to two race wins, three second-place finishes and three poles in six races in the team’s Zetec-powered F2000 Van Diemen.
Quantum has been a leader in the development of the Honda Fit engine for F1600 competition, completing the first Van Diemen Honda package for SCCA Club Racing in 2010. In addition to its four pro series victories with Gooden in 2010, the team scored Honda’s first SCCA National Club Racing victory in a multi-car field last year at Motorsports Park Hastings in Nebraska.
In 2012, Quantum plans a multi-car professional open-wheel racing program, with entries in both the F2000 Series Championship and the F1600 Formula F Championship Series. The team will make additional driver announcements in the near future.