Fortec Motorsport’s Luke Browning says running at the front in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost is a ‘proper achievement’ as he prepares for his second campaign in the series.
Browning’s first season in the championship certainly showcased potential; the Cheshire-based racer won on his debut in wet conditions at Brands Hatch from the fifth row of the grid, and added another win at Thruxton, plus a further seven podiums en route to sixth overall.
The 18-year old only announced his deal to race with Richard Dutton’s outfit on the eve of Media Day, but duly set the fastest time across six hours of testing at Donington Park, lapping beneath the qualifying lap record in the process.
And the man himself was quick to praise Fortec for their handiwork, especially given the lack of testing during the winter months.
“The car is just absolutely fabulous,” said Browning.
“We’ve rocked up, no test days, six months out of the car and we’ve just gone top of the timesheets, so I’m pretty elated at the moment.”
Looking ahead to another campaign, Browning’s objective is simple; to add his name to the roster of FIA British Formula 4 champions, with past winners including F1 star Lando Norris, FIA Formula 3 racer Max Fewtrell, British GT ace Jamie Caroline, British F3 race winner Kiern Jewiss and, most recently, Bajan star Zane Maloney.
“We’re going for the championship this year, that’s the aim,” he said.
“I’m just really looking forward to getting back out there. I’m really excited for the season coming up.”
“The expectations are there and I’m sure I’ll rise to them. I just can’t wait to go and prove myself really, it’s been such a long time out of the car, I can’t tell you the excitement getting back into that F4 car.
“I didn’t know what I was doing, I wasn’t even sure if I was racing this year, so to come back and do British F4 is absolutely brilliant.”
With the opening round at Donington Park just over a fortnight away (28/29 March), Browning’s short-term aims are to replicate his form at the start of last season and use that as a springboard for the rest of the year.
“We’ll be looking for wins, looking for podiums and try to be as consistent as possible,” he explained.
“We had a stunning start to the season last year in sort of similar fashion, with not much testing, but instead of a wet Donington, a very wet Brands Hatch.
“We came from the back of the grid to win that, so with more experience under my belt, I don’t see why we can’t go and win the first couple of rounds.”
When asked what motivated him to return to Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series for a second successive year, Browning pointed to the championship’s enviable platform for media, promotion and commercial activation as a key factor.
“It’s a massive stage,” he said.
“When you perform and you’re seen on live TV and 40,000 spectators, it’s a proper achievement to be at the top of this championship. Like I said before, I’m just so excited.”
Beyond this year, Browning’s ambition is to race in the FIA’s all-electric Formula E series, citing its future potential as one appealing aspect.
“I’d like to get to Formula E,” commented Browning.
“Formula 1 is great, I think they’re both the pinnacle of motorsport, I’d happily take an option up on either, but I think Formula E is the future and if I got an opportunity to drive in that, I’d be absolutely delighted.”