Cypriot racing driver Tio Ellinas will return to Carrera Cup this season with Slidesport Team for an assault on the title.
Ellinas, 26 won the rookie of the year last season in Carrera Cup driving for JTR after an impressive second half of the season, he scored a podium in every race of the last two weekends of the championship. He finished sixth overall in the standings.
Ellinas is said to be “very optimistic” about his chances this season. “I am looking forward to working with David and Slidesports, I think we can go for the championship”
With limited testing, and short amount of time to get to know the car, and the team, it will be an uphill battle for the Cypriot, but Ellinas has in the past proved he can adjust quickly to different cars; in 2014, he acted as a stand in for MP Motorsport in six rounds, impressing every weekend.
Before he made the transistion to sports cars, Ellinas had a hugely successful career in single starters. He was a star in his home country during his early karting days, winning multiple championships before going over to the UK to begin his single seater career. In the Uk, Ellinas took part in the Fomula Ford Championship. He was only the second driver since Ayrton Senna to start on the front row in his single seater debut. He won the rookie of the year award that year. Ellinas quickly progressed through single seaters, before catching the eye of Manor Marrussia. Manor signed him up to drive for them in the 2012/2013 GP3 season, and after his first win at Monza in his rookie season, Ellinas set off in persuit of the title in 2013. It was not to be; after dominating the season from round one, Ellinas was an innocent victim of a first corner collision at Monza, which cost him the championship.
Ellinas went on to be a multiple winner in the World Series By Renault, finishing an impressive fourth in his only season in the championship.
The Cypriot has also had a taste of Formula One; In June 2013, it was announced that he participate in a straight line test for Marussia. In doing so, he became the first person from Cyprus to drive a Formula One car. Ellinas also took part in the young driver test at Silverstone later that year, finishing the fastest of the Marussia team drivers.
Photo credits: Porsche.com and Cyprus Mail