Di Resta set to step up at Force India

MOTORsport: Britain could be on the verge of having a new Grand Prix driver in 2011 as it’s widely anticipated that young Scottish racer, Paul di Resta, will drive for the Silverstone-based Kingfisher Force India team, write Colin and James Beckett.

Di Resta, a former winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award, and cousin of Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, has been the Friday test driver for Force India.

His links to engine manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz, stand him in good stead for elevation to the race team for 2011 and it is thought he will replace Tonio Liuzzi in the team.

Liuzzi does hold a contract for the 2011 season, but di Resta’s performances in the Force India during Friday sessions, and his race wins in the German DTM series for Mercedes have not gone unnoticed.

If di Resta receives the nod ahead of Liuzzi, then he will team up with Adrian Sutil, a driver who is highly thought of by the Vijay Mallya-owned team.

Williams refugee, Nico Hulkenberg, could add further German flair to the squad and join as the number three driver.

His manager is Willi Weber, the man who guided Michael Schumacher to F1 stardom and Weber is keen to see his young star remain in F1 - even if in a number three capacity.

>>This year’s Silverstone Classic (July 22-24) will be the world’s premier venue for the Jaguar E-Type’s 50th birthday celebrations.

Launched in 1961, the legendary E-Type remains one of the most iconic and revered sports cars of all time and its half century will be honoured with a host of special races and displays at the world’s biggest classic motor racing festival.

Jaguar owners clubs in the UK have chosen the 2011 Silverstone Classic as the number one event worldwide to mark the E-Type’s golden anniversary.

They are forecasting the greatest showing of Jaguar E-Types ever assembled with eager owners bringing their cherished cars from right around the world.

Adding to the festivities, the weekend’s busy on-track schedule includes two races dedicated solely to competition versions of the Jaguar E-Type.

With nearly 90 cars already registered with the Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) organisers, a record grid of more than 50 race-prepared E-Types is predicted.

“The response has been remarkable with huge interest from the UK as well as abroad,” said Grahame White, chief executive of the HSCC.