Following the 2016 Young Driver Test in Jerez, Allar Kangur has been named by DS Automobiles Team Mathershaw as their second driver for the 2017 season. Rumours persisted that the French team would once again promote from within as they had with Olen Inman in 2016, and this has proven to be the case, with the 19-year-old Estonian set to make his FV debut next year.
Team principal Arthur Lapierre did not hide his excitement at the deal: “We’re delighted to announce that Allar Kangur will be racing with us in 2017. He is a driver of impeccable talent with an exemplary record in the junior championships, and I personally know his talent very well after he won the VWRS with Lapierre this season. We also know his quality when it comes to developing a car – something we know is going to be crucial over the next few years – because of his role as test and reserve driver in 2016.”
Kangur himself was also pleased: “I am glad I have got this opportunity from Arthur and Robert. For 2017 I want to learn with Adrien to improve as much as I can, he is someone I have enjoyed working with very much so far. I cannot wait to get out on track again and show everybody what I can do.”
On the subject of test and reserve driver, Thierry Xylander will take on that role in 2017, rumoured to be alongside a race seat in a junior championship as he prepares to take a race seat himself in the future.
Lapierre stated: “He was certainly the only other driver we seriously considered for the second driver role, but we believe that an extra season of experience outside of the spotlight will serve him very well indeed. He’ll be a big asset to the team as test and reserve driver, where he will get a lot of experience of developing the car alongside honing his racing skills in the junior series.”
In a final announcement, Lapierre revealed that the 2017 car, designated the DS Mathershaw RJM-005, would be launched at Paul Ricard early in January.