Downton have announced a partnership with new European Junior Grand Prix team Formation Competition in a bid to help young drivers come through the ranks.
Downton introduced the Downton Young Driver Academy (DYDA) last season, but have admitted it hasn't quite worked as they'd hoped, as their time has been focused on the Virtual Grand Prix series.
'I'll admit that unfortunately our Young Driver Academy hasn't worked as we'd hoped,' Downton commented. 'The main factors of this have been time and resources. We've lacked both while we focus our efforts on moving to the top of the Virtual Grand Prix series.'
'But now, with this partnership with Formation Competition, we have a team dedicated to helping nurture the young drivers and grow them into the talents of the future.'
As a result of the partnership, Formation will run in Downton colours for the remainder of the season, and drop Monegasque driver Lucas Tétrault in favour of Championship leader Klaas van Snelheid, who will make the move across from DeMarco Team. Swiss driver Finn Schnyder will also join DYDA as part of the tie-in between the teams.
Downton will also run a new young driver talent competition this season for drivers under the age of sixteen, with the winner gaining a race seat in the EJGP with Formation. Further details on this are scarce at the moment however.
Downton went on to say, 'We started in the IJGP last year with ART, then brought the team out for this season. We've struggled running both that and our Virtual Grand Prix team however - despite the two brilliant wins we've picked up - and so Formation will also take over that with immediate effect.'
Formation team principal James Longden said of the deal, 'We're excited to be working with Downton. What they've achieved as a team, building their own engines and everything, is incredible, and we very much look forward to a successful partnership.'