In an announcement coming just hours after it was confirmed Marcus Thunder and Nathaniel Powers would remain at Downton in 2016 and 2017, the teams leading junior driver - Kiara Thunder - has been announced at Ocelot for 2016.
It was reported last month she would be racing in Formula Virtual in 2016, although this was believed to be with Downton themselves, or their technical partners DS Mathershaw, though the earlier announcement vetoed a Downton move.
'It's our turn to take the spotlight today,' Downton joked ahead of the Brazilian V-Prix, 'as we'd like to make a second and third announcement this evening, and confirm that Kiara Thunder will not only be our reserve driver for 2016, but will also race for Ocelot.' It is believed this deal is still subject to the performance clause originally confirmed.
Ocelot team principal Rai Miyamoto said of the deal, 'We are extremely happy to have a young driver of Kiara’s talent on board to drive for us next year. We had our eye on her in the Junior championship and she was set to race for us before the call up to FV, so we are happy to return the favour not only to her but also Bradley who approached us with a fantastic deal which we couldn't refuse.'
With both Bradley and Rai on stage, they also took the opportunity to announce that the Ocelot-Downton engine deal would be extended until at least the end of 2016.
'To have continuity with who we supply engines to is very important for us,' Downton commented, 'and I'm proud that we'll once more be supplying three teams in 2016. It only serves to strengthen the partnership between us and Ocelot and it's one that I certainly hope will continue for many years to come.'