Lanan Racing’s BRDC British Formula 3 signing Piers Prior believes the Bedfordshire-based team is taking a chance in having him in one of its cars.
The Henry Surtees Foundation Karting Challenge winner has only one weekend of single-seater racing experience in the entry-level club category F1000, replacing an ill driver and taking a win from the back of the grid, and a few test from several years of trying to break into car racing.
“I still can’t believe I’m here,” said the 22-year-old during British F3’s Media Day.
“I think it’s testament to Johnathan [Palmer]’s championship and the cars that they’ve got, I felt really comfortable straight away [in the car]. I think I’ve shown I’ve got some decent pace straight away.”
Prior was 10th in the two day pre-season test at Snetterton, 0.436 seconds off the fastest driver.
“Lanan gives a different price package that is allowing drivers like me to get on the grid and show ultimately what we can do. I’m absolutely loving it.
“[Thanks to] Lanan as well for effectively taking a punt on a driver that’s done basically not a huge amount [of racing]. Hopefully I can repay them with some good speed and some results this year.
“I tested some Formula 4, Formula 3 [off the back of HSFKC success]. Unfortunately nothing came of that at the time, but I’ve still been soldering on, trying to get opportunities where I can.
“I managed to get one round of F1000 last year, that was just from being in the right place at the right time. Driver didn’t turn up because he was ill, and I just happened to be there. Borrowed a race suit, borrowed a HANS device, and again I think that sort of thing has helped me to show that I can jump in a car and hopefully do quite well.
“That’s certainly given the confidence to Lanan to put me in their car. As I said before, I still can’t really believe this is happening. I’m absolutely buzzing.”
Prior believes his age may offset his inexperience when it comes to racing.
“I’m slightly older than some of the other drivers on the grid. I’m 22 now, a lot of drivers in my position maybe have done a couple of years of single-seaters [already]. I think as long as I can show that I can perform on track and then hopefully get the experience this year and then going forward that shouldn’t really be an issue.
“I’m kind of hoping that little bit of extra maturity that I’ve got from basically three of four years more of life, and also the determination I’ve got from being denied seats or not had the chance to have seats before, is really keeping that drive to not only perform on track but also to carry on my career as it’s going.”