Dutch racing driver Glenn van Berlo will make his single-seater debut this year after signing with MP Motorsport to compete in the Spanish Formula 4 Championship.
Veghel based 17-year-old van Berlo will compete as part of the new talent programme of national Dutch racing federation KNAF, and will also receive additional support from the NOC*NSF sports federation.
The KNAF talent programme, called ‘Team Nederland’, has renowned racing driver Giedo van der Garde as its coach and has included the three most promising Dutch youngsters for 2019, including van Berlo who said: “I’m super happy to get this chance, it's a great opportunity to try to get the best out of myself.”
As this will be van Berlo's first full season in motorsport the year will be all about learning, which is one of the reasons he will compete in Spanish F4. Van Berlo added: "The advantage of this championship is you get a lot of track time, for each race, there are two 40-minute free practice sessions and two 15-minute qualifications.”
Van Berlo has already tested an F4 car with MP Motorsport, at the circuit of Navarra in Spain, and the experience was certainly extremely valuable. Van Berlo said: “I found it super cool, it was a very valuable test. Adjusting to the car went well as a Formula 4 doesn't have a lot of downforce, though it’s still more when compared to a Porsche, for example.
"I find that feeling very cool. it's very contradictory. The faster you go through the corner, the more the car is sucked to the ground. I also think it’s great that you don’t have a roof over your head in a Formula 4 car. It enhances the experience because it makes you enjoy the speed better.”
MP Motorsport, of course, has been the championship winning team in Spanish F4 for the past three years. Based in Westmaas, in the Dutch province of South-Holland, the team immediately lived up to its status for van Berlo during the Navarra test.
“There was very good coaching and the engineers were able to convey all the information to me very well", he reflected, "In every session I made really big steps and, in the end, the good coaching and the professionalism of the team were the reasons why we decided to go for this team, together with the KNAF.
"MP Motorsport is active in every important series leading up to Formula 1. The advantage is that you can always work with the same people, this way you can quickly improve. At least, that's my goal.”
The 2019 Spanish F4 Championship starts over the weekend 6th/7th April at the circuit of Navarra. Van Berlo will be supported throughout the season by KNAF, Chica Chico, Van Berlo Bedrijfsvloeren BV and Next Level Real Estate BV.