Downton FV team principal Bradley Downton has this evening announced that junior driver - and younger sister of current race driver Marcus - Kiara Thunder will be promoted to a race seat in the FV Championship in 2016.
In a press conference earlier Downton commented, 'I'm delighted to announce that Kiara Thunder will race in 2016 in the Formula Virtual World Championship.'
'In my opinion Kiara is one of the best drivers out there who does not have a Formula Virtual seat, and we aim to change that,' Downton added.
Kiara is due to race in the FV2 series with reigning teams Champions Formation Competition again this season, having finished third in the Championship in her début season in 2014. Downton did confirm however that while the idea is to grant her a race seat, it is dependant on her 2015 FV2 performance.
'We fully expect Kiara to perform and deliver in FV2 this season and thus earn herself a race seat, however there is a performance clause in her contract that this is dependant on, so the pressure's on. We might be criticised for announcing this early and placing extra pressure on her, but I want to see how she copes. Pressue brings out the best in some people!'
Kiara Thunder commented, 'I'm very excited that Downton have decided to give me this chance next season, and I'm now even more determined to outperform this year to ensure I take the first step towards achieving my dream of being the Formula Virtual World Champion.'
While the obvious move would be for Kiara to take one of the teams own race seats, Downton fell short of confirming she would indeed be racing for his team, sparking rumours that a deal had been agreed with another team.