Teenage single-seater star Gary Thompson is the youngest entrant in the upcoming Japanese Formula 3 series this season following the release of the entry list by the organisers.
With a grid of 18 cars confirmed at this point, Thompson will face stiff competition in his Achievement by KCMG run Dallara-Toyota and, at just 17 years of age is sure to attract plenty of publicity.
Thompson graduates to the key Japanese single-seater feeder series after taking victory in the Rookie Cup in the Formula BMW Pacific series in his first season of car racing last year.
The Dublin born racer has been enjoying pre-season preparations with his new team, showing impressive form in extended tests at the Motegi and Fuji international tracks ahead of the season opener at Suzuka in just under a month's time.
Thompson is just one of two foreign racers in the series and the only one in the National Class.
“Testing has gone well so far and I've really settled in well with the KCMG squad,” said Thompson. “Motegi was first and it wasn't too difficult to learn and it was good to get some consistent running.
“The weather was a bit more unpredictable in Fuji so it was tough to get representative lap times but I'll have to get used to that because wet weather racing is far from unusual in Japan.
“Overall I'm satisfied with how the programme is going so far and I'm confident we can be competitive with the leading runners when the racing gets under way.”
The 16-race Japanese F3 series begins at the Suzuka Grand Prix circuit on April 17 and concludes at Autopolis on October 17.