Samuel Oram-Jones received an extra birthday present this week following confirmation he has joined championship winning team, RL Racing Department Ltd, for 2011.

Sammy, who raced in the MiniMax class for 11-16 year olds this year, turned 13 on November 2 and it has now officially been announced that he will again compete in Formula Kart Stars (FKS) and Super One next season, in addition to competing in the Rotax Euro Challenge, aka Euro Max.

The youngster, who claimed his debut FKS MiniMax class victory at Wigan - in the round nine final of the Lewis Hamilton and Bernie Ecclestone Formula One Management-backed series at the end of September - is looking forward to mounting a championship challenge next year.

"We are going to be aiming to win the British championships - and to do very, very well in Europe," said the teenager. "It was great to get that win at Three Sisters and having got a taste of that I want to be up there regularly now.

"I know this year RL Racing Department Ltd were very competitive in MiniMax and came second in the championship, only just missing out on the title. It is going to be great to be with them.

"They have done very well over the years and hopefully I can now do very well with them too."

Sammy will make his debut for his new team this coming weekend. The youngster will test at PFi - the Paul Fletcher International circuit in Lincolnshire - later this week, before racing there on Sunday.

Team owner Steven Armstrong has been impressed with Sammy's speed this season and is convinced he can do very well in 2011.

"I have got one of my best engineers scheduled to work with Sammy this week and the main thing will be for him to get acclimatised to the team," Steven added. "It is clear Sammy has got a lot of talent and potential. It just needs to be pushed to the limit.

"I have seen him race and he is very fast. But now he needs to make the next step and I think we can help him take it up a notch.

"He is a great addition to our team and he should be challenging for the top-three in every race in 2011. That is the minimum we will be aiming for.

"My team has had a lot of success over the years. We have won the European championship and the British championship three times - and we have also been runner-up in Mini-Max twice and vice-champions in Junior Rotax, so we have got quite a bit of silverware to our names. I'm hoping Sammy can help us add to our successes next season. We have not taken him on to make up the numbers."

Sammy's father and manager, Emil, is delighted an agreement has been reached with RL Racing Department Ltd. This deal also fits in well with Sammy's late season switch to Force engines, as the Suffolk-based squad is the main Force MiniMax and Junior team.

Meanwhile, in another development Sammy will also benefit from a link-up with Pro Performance - a sports science consultancy based in the UK that specialises in preparing elite racing drivers for competition.

The deal with Pro Performance was officially announced at the end of last month and Sammy now joins a list of illustrious clients with the Surrey company, which includes GP2 pilot and Virgin F1 reserve driver, Luiz Razia, as well as IndyCar star, Mike Conway, Formula Renault front runner, Will Stevens and many others.

"I'm pleased to be able to make these announcements," Emil continued. "I want to give Sammy all the tools necessary to make him a champion - and that is what I have been working on since the final round of the FKS at Ellough Park.

"RL Racing Department Ltd is probably one of the best teams in the country and that is why we have gone with them. They have a great history in the Rotax arena and also have a lot of experience. They are a very established team and one that a lot of people would like to run with. Sammy will always have the best equipment now next season.

"Pro Performance will also be important as we look to 2011. Sammy did well in his first assessment and being part of their programme is going to really benefit him. They will put together a comprehensive package and help him in terms of training and diet.

"Pro Performance has been doing this for many years and some of the top, top karting teams and drivers that have gone with them have had really good results. That is one of the reasons I was keen to get Sammy in their programme.

"Sammy is going to have to be in top shape next year because he will be doing considerably more racing, given he will be racing in Euro Max, as well as Stars and Super One.

"Overall I think we are looking very good for next season. Our first major event in February, the Rotax Winter Cup, in Spain, is going to be very exciting. We want to win championships and these announcements are about putting in place all of the necessary building blocks to ensure that it happens."



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