The Amazing Billy Monger Is Back Racing, In The Euroformula Open Winter Series
Billy Monger’s first racing for the 2019 season has just been confirmed with it announced that he’ll compete in the Euroformula Open Winter Series with the Carlin team, starting this weekend at Paul Ricard. Monger has astounded onlookers with his recovery from a huge Formula 4 accident in early 2017, which resulted in him having both lower legs amputated. Less than a year later Monger returned to full-time racing in BRDC British Formula 3 with the Carlin team last season, driving a specially-adapted car. Monger finished sixth in the table and took two pole positions. He also was recently awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award ‘for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity’ as well as BRDC SuperStar status.
The EF Open Winter Series is made up of two races and accompanying test sessions. The other race is at Barcelona a fortnight on from Paul Ricard and Monger is also due to be present at that. Monger also plans to compete in the main Euroformula Open series this year, though it is understood that his commitment currently goes no further than the Winter Series. If he does complete the main series too he’ll get to take part in the prestigious Pau Grand Prix, which was previously part of the European F3 Championship prior to it merging with GP3 to form the new FIA F3 championship for this season. The main EF series also visits eight F1 circuits in Europe, completing its nine-round calendar. Monger had previously hoped to race in the new FIA F3 championship that will be part of Formula 1’s support card, replacing GP3, but that option now looks closed for 2019 due to finance issues and seats being snapped up by others. It also has been confirmed that Monger will be a pundit in Channel 4’s F1 television coverage in the UK this year.
“I’m really excited to be racing again,” said Monger. “It seems a long time since we were last racing in British F3 in early October! The Dallara F3 is a great car and a real step-up from what I’ve experienced before. There are still some issues to overcome in the cockpit, but we’re working hard to get them resolved as quickly as possible. Our sponsorship package is coming together now and I’m confident that this is just the start of another great season.” His team boss Trevor Carlin added that: “This weekend will be another challenge for Billy. It’s another move up the motorsport ladder, as well as visiting a circuit he has never raced on before. Billy faces challenges that are unthinkable to other drivers; simply getting comfortable in the car is a big hurdle, but one that he approaches with his normal determination and good humor. Our main aim this weekend is to get him comfortable and competitive as he prepares for the season ahead. Hopefully, subject to current sponsorship negotiations, this is just the start of his season in EuroFormula Open.”
Images courtesy of Carlin