General / 10 April 2024

JAS Motorsport Driver Development Programme welcomes Marco Butti

The JAS Motorsport Driver Development Programme is delighted to welcome rising Italian touring car star Marco Butti, 18, as its latest member.

Following the success of the Programme and its members in 2023, the DDP continues into the new season with Butti, Levente Losonczy and Ignacio Montenegro racing Honda Civic Type R TCRs in high-profile touring car series.

Butti, from Como, was just 16 when he first raced a TCR car in 2021 but rapidly made a name for himself by stepping up to TCR Europe for a selected programme of events the following season and setting the fastest lap on only his second weekend.

His progress continued last year: winning TCR Italy's Under-25s title and taking three overall race victories on his way to fourth in the standings. He also ran competitively in his two TCR World Tour appearances, recording top-10 finishes at both Vallelunga and Macau.

As part of his role within the DDP, he will drive a Honda Civic Type R TCR in the TCR World Tour with GOAT Racing.

Officially launched in 2020, the DDP is a comprehensive package aimed at preparing the next generation of young racers for the rigours and challenges of life as a professional competitor.

The programme focuses on developing each driver's on- and off-track skills in a variety of areas with expertise and coaching provided by JAS Motorsport's team of technicians and managers plus experienced drivers from within the Honda Racing family.

Areas of focus include disciplines such as managing tyres and fuel, pitstop training, optimising compromised set-ups for co-drivers, effective engineer and team communication, using data to impact car behaviour and working with customer teams.

For this season the DDP has a new manager; Marco Iannotta, himself a graduate of the programme. He will be supported by JAS Motorsport CEO Alessandro Mariani while Shape Driver will be responsible for the physical and mental conditioning areas of the programme.

The 2023 season was a strong one for DDP drivers with Leonardo Moncini scoring multiple class podiums in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup and Axel Gnos taking the fight for the Italian GT Pro-Am crown down to the final event.

Philip Lindberg became a race winner in TCR Denmark while Scott Sumpton scored his maiden touring car podium finishes in TCR Spain at the end of the season.

Marco Butti said: "I'm thrilled to join the JAS Motorsport Driver Development Programme for 2024. I feel I have made a lot of progress with my racing over the past couple of seasons, but I still have a lot to learn if I want to be a successful professional racing driver. Having access to the expertise and support that JAS has built up over more than 25 years at elite-level motorsport will be a huge benefit to me and I want to use this experience to improve myself in every area I possibly can."

For more information about the JAS Motorsport Driver Development Programme, please visit the JAS Motorsport website.


2024 JAS Motorsport Development Drivers

Marco Butti (18, Italy) is the youngest member of the DDP in 2024 and a new arrival, but the Como driver has been racing TCR machinery since the age of 16 in 2021. Setting the fastest lap on only his second event in TCR Europe in 2022 showed his potential and he built on this last year by winning TCR Italy’s Under-25s title and by taking three overall victories to end the year fourth in the main championship. He will compete in the KUMHO FIA TCR World Tour with GOAT Racing in 2024.

Levente Losonczy (20, Hungary) is also a fresh addition to the DDP. He made his debut in the Clio Cup Central Europe and moved up to touring car racing in 2022; finishing third in the TCR Eastern Europe Junior Trophy. This year he was third in the TCR Italy Under-25s points, having scored an overall podium finish at the opening event of the year. In 2024 he will race in both TCR Europe and TCR Italy with ALM Motorsport.

Ignacio Montenegro (19, Argentina) is a new face to the DDP, but no stranger to the Civic Type R TCR. He was one of the break-out stars of global TCR competition this year as a magnificent early-season run of results set him on the way to becoming TCR South America champion with Squadra Martino. With six wins across the year he also claimed the runner-up spot in TCR Brasil. In 2024 he will race in both TCR Europe and TCR Spain with ALM Motorsport.