Downton have signed 2015 Virtual European Racing Series champion Dmytro Kovalenko as their reserve and test driver for 2016, after the loan deal that will see Kip Maxwell leave the team for the first time in the series' history.
Kiara Thunder was originally due to fill the role, though new rules meant her on-loan race seat at Ocelot forbade this. Downton junior Klaas van Snelheid was next favourite - and may feel somewhat aggrieved to not be given the spot, but team principal Bradley Downton addressed this in a press conference.
"The fact that this role hasn't gone to Klaas is by no means a negative against him, his ability, or our relationship. Klaas would be more than capable, but we want his full effort and concentration on claiming the 2016 FV2 title.'
'As such we are delighted to welcome Dmytro Kovalenko to our team. Dmytro performed well in the 2015 VERS championship to take the title, and we look forward to working with and watching him grow and improve over the next year.'
Dmytro commented, 'I am happy with new role. I am excited for future and much look forward to working with team Downton. I would like to thank for the chance.'
Downton concluded, 'Dmytro will participate in events and demonstrations throughout the year, as well as helping us out with private testing. There may also be the opportunity for him to jump into the car during a practice session or two, but we'll have to wait and see.'