Reigning F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost Teams’ Champions Arden Motorsport were elated with their start to winter testing after two days running in Spain last week.
The 1.86-mile Circuito Mike G Gaudix in Granada played host to the British outfit, marking the first shakedown of their trio of 1.6-litre, Ford EcoBoost-powered British F4 machines in 2019, and the first time new team-mates Bart Horsten, Alex Connor and Tommy Foster have run together.
The warm weather and circuit dynamics made for ideal testing conditions, with new Team Manager Gary Ward very satisfied with Arden’s first round of winter mileage.
“We definitely achieved everything we went there for, we’re very happy with how everything ran,” commented Ward.
“We had no issues, so it was a faultless two days of running with plenty of laps – around 80 or so per day – so that was really good from our point of view.
“It was great to get all the drivers together; that was the first time they’d met and started to gel together. We had a good look at the setup and at the team, and I’m very much looking forward to the season ahead now.”
Ward also underlined his belief Arden’s three new recruits are in a strong position heading into the ten-event, thirty-race season, admitting it was an impossible call to make between which of the trio would head for the winner’s circle first in 2019.
“I’d like to say we have a good chance. For me, it’s the first year here as Team Manager and I’m looking forward to some good results. I want them all to go well, at the moment they’re all in a good position.
“At this present stage, I cannot – even after testing – which one is going to be winning at the front, because I think I’ve got three really good drivers and I’m really looking forward to seeing them out there.
“What impressed me most was the maturity of all three together. We’d give them an objective every time they went out in the car, and they would reach it every time. They have a great bunch of mechanics behind them, everyone is on the same hymn sheet heading into the season and looking forward to it very much.”
Ward also put on the record his belief in the British F4 package as the only credible starting point for the next generation of motorsport stars, both in it’s race-proven package and the range of UK circuits it visits.
“I love British F4, I think it’s a fantastic championship. As far as I’m concerned it is the first and only step that aspiring drivers should go to, whether they want to go to Formula 1 or GT cars or touring cars.
“It’s a massive step for them to come out of karting to F4, and the cars are great. The aero package on them is quite low so they move around, so they’ve still got that learning curve, plus all the tracks that we go to are the ones they’ll want to visit if they’re doing a BRDC F3 championship or a GT championship.
“Neil Brown has done an amazing job with the engines – it is really close. And it’s going to be really good fun. All of the F4 crew and the guys from RacingLine do such a good job. It’s a great championship, I’m happy to be back in it again and proud to do that as Team Manager for Arden.”