Can SA's Roman rise to F1 fame?

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IOL mot jan13 roman b . Roman de Beer

Johannesburg - Top South African racing driver Roman de Beer will take another massive step to achieving his dream of becoming a Formula One racer after becoming South Africa’s first GP3 driver in 2014.

The former World Junior Rok karting champion has been announced as the first GP3 driver for Team Trident, and will be matching his skills this season against the top rising stars in motorsport.

While GP3 is relatively unknown in South Africa, it is the feeder system for Formula One, with many of the current top F1

drivers emerging from the GP3 ranks. The races take place at the same track on the same day as the Formula One Grand Prix series, giving younger drivers the perfect opportunity to rub shoulders with the top drivers in motor racing.

De Beer, who is still only 19, made his way into GP3 after impressing in the Italian Formula Arbath, as well as some magnificent performances in the Italian Formula Three.

He was hoping to make his breakthrough into GP3 in 2013, but had to put his dream on hold due to a lack of sponsorship opportunities. However, after being offered a test drive with Trident in Abu Dhabi, they offered him a drive for the first part of the season.

Born in Alberton and currently residing in Johannesburg, De Beer started his racing career at the tender age of five in go-karts.

While in Italy, he was the second youngest driver in a group of 41, and was the youngest to finish in the top 10, beating drivers from the famed Ferrari Academy in the process.

De Beer will head to the pre-season testing on March 28, on three different tracks before the season begins on May 10 in Barcelona. -Sapa

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