Jon Lancaster will return to SG Formula in 2009 as he embarks on his sophomore season in the Formula 3 Euroseries.
After a hugely successful maiden year in the Formula Renault Eurocup, Lancaster graduated to the premier F3 championship in 2008 with multiple champions ART Grand Prix. However, while he managed a podium in only his fifth race and scored a win at the Nurburgring, success elsewhere was fleeting and he finished down in 12th overall.
With ART retaining only one driver for 2009, Lancaster finds himself back at SG having raced with them during that breakthrough Formula Renault season. Four wins in the final four races saw him claim second in the standings behind Carlin's new signing Brendon Hartley.
He will be joined in the team by two Toyota Driver Development members, Henkie Waldschmidt and Andrea Caldarelli.
Waldschmidt remains in the team for a second season, despite failing to score in 2008, while Caldarelli graduates from Formula Renault having scored ten podiums on the way to third in the standings.
Retaining Mercedes power for what will also be the team's second season in the championship, team manager Stephane Guerin is looking forward to further success in 2009.
“We are keeping faith with Dallara for the chassis and Mercedes-HWA for the power unit. But we are making a lot of changes to the configuration of our cars, and we're working hard on the gearbox, too. Romain Grosjean gave us a big hand during closed season testing. The big difference this season compared to last is that we are ready.
This year we are not rookies anymore; our aim in F3 is to be amongst the front-runners a lot more often. To achieve that aim we have to progress on the technical side but we also have to help our drivers to improve. On that front we are proud to have retained the confidence of the Toyota Driver Program, which serves as the junior team for the world's biggest car manufacturer. With a partner like that we are duty bound to perform well.
“So this year we'll be expecting a lot more from Henkie Waldschmidt. His talent and turn of speed are not in dispute but now it's up to him to make experience count. Andrea Caldarelli has adapted well to the team's methods in Formula Renault 2.0, but he's not lost an ounce of his Italian passion. So much the better, because that's the stuff of champions.
“The other good news this winter is the return of Jon Lancaster, who has already added a few strings to his bow with us. At the end of the 2007 season he won six out or eight races - he was unbeatable!”
SG Formula finished sixth in the 2008 Formula 3 Euroseries, with lead driver Yann Clairay ending the year ninth in the standings with three podiums.