15 MARCH, 2017 – Pirtek Racing’s rising star Jamie Caroline will return to the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford for the 2017 season after agreeing terms on a deal to join reigning champions Carlin.
Caroline emerged as one of the stars of the 2016 campaign at the wheel of his distinctively liveried Pirtek Racing-backed car, with a series of eye catching performances on track that made light of his relative lack of single-seater experience.
The 18-year-old grabbed headlines throughout his first season in open wheel competition, which culminated in a break-through victory on Finals Day at Brands Hatch.
In total, Caroline secured five podium finishes en-route to tenth in the championship standings, with stunning drives in the wet at both Donington Park and Rockingham attracting interest from around the world having gone viral online.
On the back of his 2016 campaign – and an outing in the BRDC British F3 Winter Series – Caroline took time to evaluate his options for the new season before electing to return to British F4 with his sights firmly set on securing the championship crown.
With continued backing from Pirtek UK, Caroline will now join the Carlin team that has secured the title for the past two seasons with Lando Norris and Max Fewtrell.
Caroline has shown front-running pace during a number of test sessions with his new team in recent weeks as discussions about a potential drive continued, with a deal having been agreed that sees him complete Carlin’s four-strong line-up for the year ahead.
“I’m really pleased to have agreed a deal to join Carlin for this season,” he said. “The aim is to help them challenge for the title for a third year in a row. I wanted to return to British F4 this season to fight for the championship, and I’m sure that joining Carlin gives me an ideal platform from which to do so.
“Testing has gone well and it hasn’t taken long for me to get back up to speed in the car, so I’m confident that when we go to Brands Hatch to start the season, the Carlin-run Pirtek Racing car will be right on the pace, as it was during our recent test there.
“It’s going to be very close on track again this season and from testing so far there’s probably half a dozen drivers who can fight for the championship. But I’m ready for the season ahead and can’t wait to get started.”
Added Carlin team boss Trevor Carlin: “We are thrilled to have Jamie on board – he is a strong talent who we have been watching and enjoyed competing against last year.
“In pre-season testing he has been fully committing himself and working extremely well with the team. It’s going to be very exciting to see what he can achieve this season as we fully expect that he’ll be a title challenger.”
The 2017 season will be Caroline’s third running in Pirtek Racing colours, with Pirtek UK marketing manager Tammie Argent-Peters pleased to confirm the continued support for the talented teenager.
“There’s no doubt that Jamie is a spectacular driver on track who has a lot of support, and he has provided us with some brilliant coverage in the last few years,” she said.
“His new deal with Carlin gives him a fantastic chance to build on his results from last year and to fight for the title; something he has certainly shown he is capable of with his pace in pre-season testing.”
Commented EDGE Sporting Management who have played a pivotal role in guiding Caroline during his career: “We are really pleased that Jamie has secured a seat with the reigning champions. We hope that by working with Carlin he will have a great shot at being crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.
“We started putting this deal together at the Silverstone meeting last year, so we’re over the moon the deal is finally done. Jamie has to be one of the favourites for the title.”
Caroline’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford campaign will kick off at Brands Hatch on the first weekend in April.