16 MARCH, 2018 – JHR Developments have confirmed a trio of talented teenagers will contest the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost with the squad. British F4 race winner Ayrton Simmons joins Steven Hunter’s outfit for his second full season in the series, alongside Manuel Sulaimán and Josh Skelton.
Simmons burst onto the single-seater scene partway through the 2016 campaign and capped it off with a superb podium in the final race of the season at Brands Hatch. The circuit has been a happy hunting ground for the Epping based racer. It was the location of his breakthrough maiden victory at the start of the 2017 season, in a year which would see him go on to finish seventh in the standings with a further five podiums to his name.
In 2018 Simmons is looking to make plenty more visits to the top step of the podium in his bid for the UK’s most coveted single-seater title.
“When we were given the opportunity to join JHR Developments for 2018 it was a no brainer,” explained Simmons. “I have seen how professionally they operate over the last couple of years.
“We will have a limited testing plan due to my other commitments, but we all feel that I can have a genuine shot at the championship.
“Having Manuel Sulaimán as a team mate is great news as we are both native Spanish speakers and good friends away from the track.
“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank my outstanding sponsors DWS, ELEV8 and Couper Earnshaw for their support. They are all as excited as me to be part of the JHR family.”
Manuel Sulaimán from Puebla, Mexico returns to the F4 British Championship in 2018 for a full season, having dovetailed commitments in the sister Mexican F4 series last year.
The 16-year-old starred on the podium in 2017 and is hoping for more of the same in 2018. Having recently been signed to the highly regarded management team All Road Management, Sulaimán is looking forward to proving himself against the best junior single-seater talent.
“I am delighted to return to race in the F4 British Championship,” said Sulaimán. “It is the toughest F4 championship in the world to win given the quality of the drivers that compete in it. It’s where you want to be racing because battling with the best talent makes you raise your game.
“To be able to contest the season with JHR Developments again is brilliant. They know how to fight for the top positions having finished runner-up and third in the overall standings in the past. Their determination to win is incredible.”
Josh Skelton from Dearham, Cumbria completes JHR Developments’ stellar line-up. The 17-year-old arrives on the back of a wealth of karting success in European Rotax Max and British Super One.
“I am thrilled to join JHR Developments for 2018,” said Skelton. “They have such an incredible record of getting the best from young drivers and helping them to achieve high levels of success.
“I know that Ayrton, Manuel and I will work well together and I hope to repay the faith placed in me by my sponsors Alpine Stars, Skelton Joinery and BJ Human Performance by bringing home some great results.”
Said JHR Developments team principal Steven Hunter following his raft of driver announcements: “We have followed Ayrton’s progress with interest as he is an incredibly talented young driver. This will be his second full season in British F4 and we feel he has an excellent chance of fighting for the title.
“It is fantastic to have Manuel return with us for a full championship campaign. It will enable him to build on the success attained at the end of last year and there is no doubt in my mind that Manuel will be at the front of the grid all year.
“Finally, attracting such a talented driver in the form of Josh is a real coup for the team. Whilst he will be a rookie and need to learn the circuits, he has already shown us that he has an exceptional ability to learn quickly. We fully expect him to be at the sharp end of the grid soon.”