Norfolk racing team's junior champion graduates to Formula 3
- Credit: Elite Motorsport
A Norfolk-based racing team's junior champion has taken the next step in his career by graduating to single-seater racing.
Tom Lebbon, 15, from Bury St Edmunds, has announced that he will be moving from the Ginetta Junior Championship up to the BRDC British Formula 3 (F3) Championship in 2021 with Norfolk racing team, Elite Motorsport.
Lebbon won last year's Ginetta Junior Championship in his maiden season of car racing, making him the first driver to ever achieve winning the outright and Rookie titles in the same year.
Lebbon spent five years in karts from the age of eight and in 2019, finished fourth in the IAME European Karting Series.
The promising 15-year-old was then given the 2020 Ginetta Junior Scholarship in October 2019.
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Eddie Ives, owner of Elite Motorsport which is based in Shipdham, said: "I’m absolutely delighted and excited to be announcing Tom in one of our BF3 cars.
“There are no better words to describe the season that he had in 2020 as ‘truly exceptional’ – a stunning performance.
“Moving up from Ginetta Juniors into a F3 single-seater is a big step for a driver so young and with just one year of [car] racing under his belt.
“But this is a two-year programme and I’m confident Tom will ultimately excel in the category.”
Elite Motorsport also enters Javier Sagrera Pont (SP) in the 24-race campaign and is close to completing its three-car line-up.
Lebbon has only completed five days of testing at Snetterton and Valencia circuits in an F3 car due to poor weather.
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He said: "My aim is to achieve a strong year in F3 while picking up some good finishes along the way.
"I want to use this year to learn and experience single-seater racing and develop my driving.
“I’ve only completed about five days in a F3 car, at Snetterton and Valencia, and testing has been pretty limited due to poor weather.
"I’ve a good bond with Elite and believe that they can compete at high level in BF3. They have won lots of races and championships and I believe they are a good choice despite being new to the Formula 3 paddock.”
The championship is scheduled to begin at Brands Hatch on May 22-23.