Formation Competition have become the first IndyVirtual team to announce their 2018 driver line-up, confirming the signing of Yakumi Takahashi from Team Morley to partner Marcus Thunder.
Thunder - who currently sits fourth in the championship, 42 points behind Felipe Cesar - will remain with the team for a second season, which means that under the new rules for 2018 that no driver can be contracted to both an IndyVirtual and Formula Virtual team, he will leave Downton after five years.
"I'd like to thank Downton for everything they've done for me since 2013, from giving me my first break to helping me to my first victory. I'd also like to thank them for allowing me the chance to do IndyVirtual this season, and to continue to do so next season. We part on very good terms, and who knows, we may well re-unite one day."
When asked how he felt to have been replaced by Klaas van Snelheid just as Downton became a front-running team Thunder responded; "This has been said before and I'll say it again, I wasn't replaced. I stepped down from my role to take this opportunity in IndyVirtual, and despite Downton's success I don't regret my decision. I am having great fun in a title battle of my own here and also supporting Downton in FV, I really hope they can succeed in their quest for the title this season!"
The other announcement was equally as big however, with confirmation that Yakumi Takahashi would replace Dino Palma at the team in 2018, joining from Team Morley. "I'm very excited with my new challenge at Formation," Takahashi commented. "I'd like to thank Nic (Morley) for taking a chance on me this year and allowing me to leave at the end of this season."
"We welcome Yakumi to the team with open arms," Formation team principal Louis Vasseur exclaimed. "We look forward to working with him and think he and Marcus will work very well together. We'd also like to thank Dino (Palma) for all of his hard work so far this year and this announcement is by no means a reflection on his performance, and this may not be the end of our partnership - so watch this space!"
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