by Simon Stiel

Super One champion Ed Brand has signed for Formula K Europe to contest the Euro Max and BNL Series in 2012.

Brand spoke of his excitement about joining the Dutch based team.

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"Every driver wants to be part of a works team and to have more responsibility than just turn up and drive," he said. "With Formula K I have an incredible opportunity, not just to lead their bid to win the British, European and Benelux championships, but also to have an input into developing the kart itself. I've already tested the kart at Genk and was just a tenth (of a second) off the pole time for the Euro Max round there. That wasn't in full quali' trim, so the potential is clearly there. I was very encouraged and the feedback from the chassis is excellent."

Martin Blom, team principal of Formula K added: "I first met Ed about three years ago when he was racing in the Junior class and he impressed me then. He did it again when he graduated to the Senior category - I like him as a person and for his driving style. We are building up the Formula K team and brand in Europe and now the UK, so I wanted a driver who can win the European Championship next year and Ed has the potential."

Brand also reignites his partnership with HRS Racing Engines. They have had success together in Britain and were runners up in the Euro Max series.

HRS owner Nigel Horner said: "We won the British championships the last time and I hope to do it again and, of course, win the elusive European crown. He's great to work with and his feedback is excellent. It will be exciting to see our engines and, what is essentially a new product in the UK, being demonstrated by a driver of his ability."

While studying for his A Levels at Cottesloe School in Wing, Buckinghamshire Brand won the Super One Rotax title and Kartmasters with Strawberry Racing in 2011. For 2012, he joins Protrain Racing to defend his British titles.

As well as the championships, Brand hopes to do other events like the Japanese Rotax Winter Cup and Kartmasters. He is "waiting to hear" about other Rotax based events on the Rotax Max Euro Challenge calendar.

Formula K presents another possibility for Brand's future. One of the team's founders is Andrea Bertolini who raced for Maserati in the FIA GT Championship. He is also a talent scout and works at the Ferrari Driver Academy.