- 17-year-old Chinese karting ace has sights set on progressing up FIA single-seater pyramid to F1.
- Gary Ward’s GW Motorsport eager to race in super-competitive Ford EcoBoost-powered championship.
19 OCTOBER, 2016 – Travelling 6,000 miles to compete in the UK’s leading single-seater series is certainly a statement of intent. It’s exactly what Jacky Liu from Shenzhen, China has done by signing with GW Motorsport for an assault on the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.
Gary Ward’s GW Motorsport team will be a new addition to the British F4 grid. However, both the team and in particular Ward who has had a long and illustrious racing career are no strangers to on-track success with a wealth of experience with karting, F3, Formula 3000 and F1 machinery.
Said Ward: “The whole team is really looking forward to next season. We cannot wait to get started. I have a lot of knowledge and insight to pass onto young drivers like Jacky to help develop their skills and fulfil their career ambitions.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Jacky who I know will put his heart and soul into it, and it will be great for British F4 to have its first Chinese driver.”
17-year-old Liu who is studying A-Levels at Brooke House College in Market Harborough has already had a successful foray in F3 Monoposto. In 2016 he finished the majority of his races inside the top 10 on the back of multiple Chinese karting titles and numerous top five finishes at Senior X30 level in the UK.
Liu explained how racing in Britain has accelerated his development and is confident this will continue by becoming part of the Ford Performance family: “I have competed in a number of races in the UK and then gone back to China to find that I was able to win more easily. It became almost effortless.”
Regarding his ambitions for 2017 he added: “Of course everyone wants to win the title. That’s the goal for all drivers. I will try my best to make that happen. It takes a lot of hard work, but anything truly worthwhile is never easy.
“To be the first Chinese driver to compete in British F4 will mean a lot to me. The quality of drivers in British F4 is much higher than in China. It’s far more competitive.
“The series awards FIA Super Licence points and it is the best at preparing drivers for the next stages on the FIA single-seater pyramid which goes all the way up to F1.”
Team boss Ward’s driver coaching experience stretches back to the 1980s and he was keen to emphasise why joining the F4 British Championship is such a tantalising prospect: “Part of what makes British F4 so attractive is that it’s a level playing field for all competitors. Everyone races in identical machinery. On top of that the Ford EcoBoost-powered cars look and sound awesome. I love running the car. It’s a brilliant bit of kit.
“The racing is so close. When you see the likes of Sennan Fielding and JHR Developments competing for the title on a low budget you know that it’s possible to race at the front.
“There are so many elements which put the F4 British Championship ahead of other series; including how well it’s policed from a technical point of view, how well it’s marketed, the professionalism and approachability of Racingline who organise the championship, the MSA driver coaching and data sharing programme, as well as being on the TOCA package with a huge volume of spectators and live TV coverage.”
Liu’s arrival on the grid will take the number of nationalities who have competed in the series to 11 in just over two years.
“British F4 has established itself as the place for junior drivers from around the world to embark upon their single-seater careers,” explained championship manager David Lowe. “Having Jacky join the championship further underlines this fact. It’s incredibly exciting to have him on board and will help us gain greater exposure in Asia.
“The level of interest in next season from prospective drivers and teams has been really high. GW Motorsport’s addition to the grid is fantastic. I have known Gary Ward for many years. Wherever he goes success usually follows. It’s going to be fascinating to see his team take on the array of highly professional and super-competitive squads in our paddock.”
Images by Stu Stretton Media.