Intrepid Force Rotax Takes Hart

press release

The Austrian-based race team has added yet another international driver to their European Rotax campaign, bringing multiple New Zealand champion Josh Hart into the squad for the upcoming round in Germany.

Following an unexpected opportunity to race with Intrepid Force Rotax, the Kiwi driver was pleasantly surprised to get the phone call asking if he would be interested. The 21-year-old from the north island of New Zealand competed at the opening round of the Euro Challenge in France in March in the DD2 gearbox class for another Austrian team, but will now make the switch to the Rotax Senior Max, which was fully subscribed with 92 entries at the opening event of the 2008 season.

Hart has been racing for around 12 years and recently made the trip to Europe to compete in the Euro Challenge, along with some other national Max Challenge series’. Having qualified for the Rotax Grand Finals for the last three years; twice as the NZ Rotax Champion and the 2-speed DD2 category in 2007, he knows what it’s like to compete against some of the World’s best drivers in his class. It’s part of the reason why he also made the move overseas.

IFR Team Manager Ernst Penninger (pictured right, with Hart) says the choice was easy to take Hart because the talented driver had been impressive already on several occasions. “I had seen Josh race against our drivers in both Hungary and Austria this year, taking pole position and winning two of the four races to make the podium. I remember him as well from the Grand Finals and know he’s an excellent driver.

At the recent test in Wackersdorf where the Euro round will take place, I invited Josh to help us out with the two-day test program and it was most successful. He works very hard and shows a lot of dedication to his racing. His dream to race in Europe has been realised and for us, it fits well with our ‘Race To Get There’ philosophy. We know Josh is more than capable of achieving the desired results, but what’s expected is that he just does his best. We’re really pleased to have him racing with us; no doubt giving IFR an even stronger driver line-up.”

For the NZ Intrepid driver, IFR was probably one of the most well-known and professional outfits he’d only ever read about up until this year, so for Hart it’s quite exciting to be given such a fantastic opportunity to be part of the team in Germany. “It’s unbelievable really… and I am looking forward to racing with them at the Euro Challenge. I have been doing as much testing and training as possible to be prepared, so as to get a good result. I can’t thank IFR enough for the chance to continue competing at the top level of Rotax racing in Europe with their team.”

With less than a week remaining at the ProKart Raceland Wackersdorf circuit until the 10-day driving ban comes into play for the Euro Challenge, the team including Hart plan to squeeze in a few more days testing in Germany. Round 2 of the championship gets underway with official free practice on May 28th. Entries include in excess of 170 drivers from around 30 countries.