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This website is now dedicated to covering the Black Bullets. Current Black Bullets news is now provided on iSportz » with past news archived here for your continued reference.
Black Bullet Profile: Brendon Hartley
British F3

Latest Photos
Born: 10th November 1989
Born: Palmerston North, New Zealand
Amibition: To evolve into a professional race car driver.

Interests: Motor racing, music (Cold Play, Soundgarden etc), roller
hockey (Manawatu rep), playing the guitar.

  • Brendon's motorsport career started in karting at the age of six in the 85cc Cadet class that has a 10.5hp engine. He won four consecutive Gold Star Series titles during his first four seasons and went on to claim many club and regional titles in 100cc Junior Restricted and Junior Yamaha.

  • At the age of 12 he competed at New Zealand's North Island circuits in the local Formula First category for VW-engined Formula Vee single-seaters; racing a locally-built Sabre chassis run for him by his father Bryan.

  • He was just 13 when he progressed to Formula Ford in 2003, driving a Stealth-version of the Van Dieman chassis. Brendon won a four-meeting, 12-race Winter Series at his local Manfeild circuit at the start of that first Formula Ford season.

  • He then competed in the New Zealand Formula Ford Championship run at the six permanent race circuits throughout the country and finished second overall; taking six wins, six pole positions and three track records.

  • Brendon was the youngest driver in New Zealand's distinguished motorsport history to gain pole positions and win races in the National Formula Ford Championship.

  • In 2004 Brendon was awarded the Steel Trophy by Motorsport New Zealand. The prestigious award recognises a driver under the age of 21 who competes nationally and shows dedication, skill and professionalism. The award also acknowledged Brendon's sportsman-like attitude to fellow competitors and officials.

  • At the age of 14 his emerging talent was recognised by PJ Johnston who purchased a chassis for the youngster to contest the all-new Toyota Racing Series. The state-of-the-art New Zealand initiative is a controlled single-seater class with 1.8-litre, 215bhp Toyota engines in an Italian-built Taatus carbon fibre chassis.

  • In the first race for the ambitious new class at the Timaru circuit in early January, 2005, Brendon scored a victory that confirmed the talent and speed he had already shown in karting and entry-level single seaters.

  • The youngest driver in the 17-car field qualified on the front row and raced away to win that inaugural TRS race. In a car still being overseen by his father, Brendon won by 1.2 seconds from the driver that would go on to win the first Toyota Series title.

  • Brendon won four TRS races before he left New Zealand. He scored five second placings and always qualified inside the top five. In 2005 he finished fourth in the overall TRS Championship.

  • He also continued to race karts. While still in the 5th Form, Brendon was in the winning Palmerston North Boys High Team that won the 2005 National School's Karting Championship in Taranaki.

  • Veteran New Zealand driver Kenny Smith was an early mentor to Brendon and allowed him to drive his 1.6-litre Formula Pacific Swift-Ford in a Formula Libre 'Grand Prix' at Manfeild in 2005. At the age of 15, Brendon qualified fastest in a field of mainly V8-engined Formula 5000 cars and won outright.

  • In 2005 he also won the Elite Motorsport Academy Award. After a week-long evaluation alongside nine other top New Zealand drivers, Brendon emerged as the overall winner. He was the youngest ever participant in the Motor Sport New Zealand programme.

  • The combined efforts of PJ Johnston, Kenny Smith and English journalist Jeremy Shaw, resulted in an invitation for Brendon to take part in the two-day Red Bull Junior Development assessment at the Estoril circuit in Portugal at the end of 2005.

  • His performance during that first European drive immediately impressed Red Bull. The Austrian company offered Brendon a scholarship drive in their 2006 Junior Development programme, competing with a German team in the Formula Renault 2.0-litre German and Euro-Cup Championships.

  • He survived a tough first season living alone in the eastern part of Germany and racing at circuits he'd never seen before. Although his 14th overall in the Euro Cup was a personal disappointment, Red Bull kept Brendon on for 2007.

  • At just 17-years-of-age, Brendon joined the Spanish Epsilon team to compete in the Formula Renault 2.0-litre Italian Championship, in which he finished third overall and won the final race of the season; and he returned for a second season in the highly competitive Formula 2.0 Renault Euro-Cup Championship.

  • Euro Cup Formula Renault is a global category with drivers from the five continents regularly competing. The elite Euro series visits Belgium, Germany, Hungary, England, France, Portugal and Spain. More than 50 young drivers drivers compete each season.

  • Brendon dominated the 2007 Euro Cup season, taking eight podium positions and four race wins. Finishing in the points in 12 out of 14 races, he was able to take the title with two races remaining.

  • During his impressive season Brendon finished in the top six at 11 of the 14 races. His first major international title came on the eve of the 40th anniversary of countryman Denny Hulme winning the Formula 1 World Championship in Mexico on October 22, 1967.

  • It was 23 years since a New Zealand driver last won a major European single seater title, so Brendon's victory represented an important achievement for New Zealand motorsport.

  • At Zolder in Belgium earlier this year Brendon astonished observers by taking fourth place in one of the toughest races of the year, the Formula 3 Masters. It was his Formula 3 debut.

  • He was also invited to compete in the 25th Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix in November in a Dallara-Mercedes run by leading British team Carlin Motorsport. It was Brendon's first street circuit race and he finished 12th but he impressed again with fourth fastest time in the pre-race warm-up.

  • Brendon participated in the pre-season Silverstone Grand Prix circuit test session with A1 Team New Zealand. A Rookie session for Brendon at a 2008 A1 Grand Prix event is currently under consideration.

  • At the end of October, 2007 Red Bull confirmed Brendon would continue for a third season in their Junior team and would race in the British Formula 3 Championship with Trevor Carlin's team.

  • Carlin are three-times winners of the prestigious British F3 title and have finished runner-up on five occasions. The Hampshire based squad are also the most successful in British F3 history, having won 79 British F3 races.

  • The British F3 championship consists of 11 rounds over a seven month period; starting at Oulton Park on March 24 and finishes at Donington Park on October 5 taking in famous circuits such as Brands Hatch, Spa-Francorchamps, Monza and Silverstone on the way.

  • Just a couple of years after this "home grown talent" won the very first New Zealand TRS event in 2005 – Brendon Hartley is now recognised as one of the fastest and most respected young drivers in the racing world.

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