Photo: Renault Sport/DPPI
Oliver Webb will return to Europe and the Formula Renault 3.5 Series next year after signing with Fortec Motorsports.
The Englishman competed in FR3.5 in 2011 for Pons Racing, finishing 21st overall before switching to America for 2012. Competing in Indy Lights, he finished up seventh overall.
Webb previously raced for Fortec in Formula Renault UK in 2008 and 2009 before staying with the team as he graduated to British F3 where he finished third overall behind Jean-Eric Vergne and James Calado.
“I couldn?t be happier to be coming back to Fortec after having completed two seasons in Formula Renault and a season in Formula 3 very successfully with the team,” said the 21-year-old. “We were speaking to a variety of championships and teams for the 2013 season but, when the opportunity arose with Fortec, it was a clear decision. I?m really looking forward to pushing hard in a great championship with a strong teammate and, of course, with a championship-winning team ? a recipe for success.”
Webb will partner Eurocup Formula Renault champion Stoffel Vandoorne at Fortec, who took Robin Frijns to the 2012 drivers’ title.
“Oliver is a great driver and I?m really pleased to have him back in the team,” said Fortec chief Richard Dutton. “We have a great relationship with him, and we?ve really seen him grow through the years, and he is an incredibly talented driver. We had a fantastic season in the FR3.5 during 2012, and we want to regain our championship title; with Stoffel and Oliver on the team I believe we will be top contenders again for 2013.”
Webb showed great promise in British F3 in 2010 with Fortec, but his graduation to FR3.5 did not work out and even though – unlike many British drivers – he had the budget to continue in Europe, it was not a massive surprise to see him switch to the United States.
Having scored a podium on his Indy Lights debut in 2011, he probably had high hopes of being able to join the likes of Dario Franchitti and the late Dan Wheldon as a success in the States, but he was only able to add one further podium in 2012 despite driving for the strongest team in the series in the form of Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
Driving for Pons in 2011, he didn’t have the best of teams that year so by signing with Fortec he can be sure he’s not only with the team that won last year’s championship but also one he knows well.