Toyota Team TOMís signs Dutchman Carlo van Dam


Dutchman Carlo van Dam has joined Toyota Team TOMís to contest the 2008 Japanese Formula 3 Championship. 21-year old Carlo, who won the 2007 German Formula 3 series, signed a contract with Toyota Team TOMís earlier this month and has already moved to Gotemba in Japan, where the Toyota Works F3 team is based. Early February he will test his new Dallara-Toyota for the first time at the Fuji circuit located close to Gotemba. The Japanese Formula 3 championship this year comprises 18 rounds, while Carlo will also race in the prestigious Macau F3 Grand Prix.

Toyota Team TOMís has won the Japanese Formula 3 title for the last three years and also triumphed in the Macau Grand Prix at the end of 2007. During that event the team took note of Carlo van Dam. ďAfter winning the German championship I was invited by an Austrian team to do MacauĒ, Carlo explains.

ďAs a result of my performance there I was approached by Mr. Susumi Koumi of TOMís. Last week I arrived in Japan and we finalised the deal. TOMís and Toyota are two big and highly respected names in international motor sport and for me their offer is a great reward for my achievements so far. I am very motivated to make the best of the opportunity they have provided me with.Ē

Carlo, a former European karting champion, finished third in the European Formula Renault series before moving to Formula 3 last year. As the reigning German champion he is now among the favourites for the Japanese title. ďObviously I am ambitious, also because I race for one of the best F3 teams in the business. I am impressed with their working methods. I already like living here, but of course I look forward to testing the car for the first time early next month, for then the season really starts.Ē

Susumu Koumi: ďTOM's are very pleased to have Carlo van Dam as our driver to defend our Formula 3 championship title and Macau GP victory from last year. It may be a hard challenge for him to compete in a completely different racing environment here in Japan, but we are sure Carlo will do a great job for us.Ē

The Japanese Formula 3 championship already produced some highly successful drivers, including seventime Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve and current F1 drivers Adrian Sutil (champion with TOMís in 2006) en Kazuki Nakajima. Carlo is not the first Dutch TOMís driver: Jan Lammers raced their (Toyota) sport cars and Tom Coronel was part of their F3 team.

Carlo will test at Fuji on February 7 and 8 and is presented to the Japanese media on February 9 during the official presentation of Toyota Team TOMís. His Japanese team mates are F3 newcomers Takuto Iguchi and Keisuke Kunimoto, who are both part of the Toyota Drivers Program. On April 5 and 6 Fuji will host the first two rounds of the 2008 season.

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