After a strong championship finish last year, DEForce Racing enters the Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda season with four Ligier JS F4 machines, doubling its program from 2018. The Houston-based team will field four cars for 2019, filling two seats with young Brazilian drivers Kiko Porto and Guilherme Peixoto.
In 2018, DEForce placed fourth in the team championship and its rookie driver James Raven claimed the F4 U.S. Vice Championship title.
“We are very happy to have a wave of Brazilian talents coming through our team,” said Ernesto Martinez, Co-Owner of DEForce Racing. “I’m sure we are going to have a very competitive squad to fight for the 2019 F4 Championship.”
Peixoto began racing karts at seven years old and went on to win several Brazilian national karting titles. After a very successful karting career will transition into open-wheel competition, debuting in a Ligier JS F4 machine outfitted in the neon blue and white DEForce Racing colors.
“I am very pleased to be joining F4 U.S. with DeForce for the 2019 season,” Peixoto said. “It will be my first season in open-wheels and we chose the North American path as, today, is the most promising way to become a professional racing driver. It will be very challenging, and I believe I have a very strong team around me. I can’t wait for the first race in April.”
Porto returned to the DEForce lineup for his first full F4 U.S. season. In his rookie year, Porto competed in eight championship races, earning five top-10 finishes.
“This will be a very difficult season since there are so many good drivers who already have a lot of experience in Formula 4,” said Porto. “But I hope to achieve the evolution that I need to get my first podium in the American category. I am climbing one step at a time to give way in my career. God willing, we will make this a good year and achieve my goals to help my team.”
Focused on getting back to the competition mindset, Porto and Peixoto are completing a rigorous preseason test schedule with DEForce in preparation for the season opener at Road Atlanta April 18-20.
DEForce Racing is still finalizing its roster for 2019, testing prospective drivers during the off season.