Sharp Motorsport Team Principal Joe Sharp has praised the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost paddock for providing a ‘family atmosphere’ and reflected with pride on his eponymous outfit’s growth in their second season in the series.
Established in 2017 to run Sharp’s son Jamie in the Ford EcoBoost-powered category, the outfit have since grown into one of the paddock’s most-renowned and best-loved outfits.
“The journey has been awesome,” said Sharp.
“We really started out with people not taking us too seriously at the very start, but unknown to the outsider we already had many years of racing experience and knowledge and had built a team around us that are one big family.
“It was quite daunting at first as a newcomer to jump straight into the most prestigious and competitive junior series in the world at this level, but we went in with our eyes wide open and knew what challenges lay ahead; we met them head on and learnt as much as we could.
“The paddock is super competitive, but one thing I can say is that we were welcomed with open arms, and none of us would ever let another team fall. Everyone offers to help out in times of trouble, and as for the championship staff, they couldn’t be friendlier and helped us every step of the way.”
The team learnt quickly in their debut season, with Jamie taking his first points at Donington Park in April and a further seven finishes inside the top ten thereafter.
The sudden jump up to professional single-seater racing from karting proved a big step for the team, but the atmosphere surrounding the championship – and extensive coverage in the media, were a big positive for the Sharp outfit.
“The first year was tough, especially with Jamie going straight from club karting twice a month to racing against some of the best in the world,” admitted Joe.
“But the amount of positivity around the paddock and with the fans is overwhelming; we’ve had occasions where fans are queuing at our awning to meet Jamie and have pictures taken, and it’s really lovely that people are getting behind a young driver at such an early stage and following them right through their career.
“The ITV Sport coverage has been great, and both commentators – Richard John Neil and Phil Glew – have really put an arm around Jamie and given the team some air-time, it’s been fantastic.”
Fast forward a year to 2018 and Jamie finished nearly half of a ten-event, thirty-race calendar inside the points among the next generation of motorsport stars and was subsequently voted in for the Driver’s Choice Award, a defining moment for Sharp Snr.
“The second season has been a blast, but again it has been tough and with only one car out on track, we have no data to compare ourselves against and budgets for testing have been tight.
“What we’ve seen though is a massive determination from both the team and Jamie; he always got his head down and three times won the award for most overtakes in a weekend.
“At the end of the season he won the Driver’s Choice Award, which I have to say brought a tear to my eye and was very humbling, confirming to me this paddock is one big family and we all take care of each other. I take my hat off to all of you.”