TEAM NEWS: Successful launch for British F4 outfit Richardson Racing’s new Corby home

Supplied by team’s PR.

13, DECEMBER 2016 – The Richardson Racing team is hard at work preparing for the 2017 season after a successful launch of its new workshop facilities in Corby.

A special event at the new workshop – located on the Earlstrees Industrial Estate just minutes away from Rockingham Motor Speedway – was attended by a number of specially invited guests; including Councillor Julie Riley, the Mayor of Corby.

Following a brief presentation and a ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests were able to take a tour of the new workshop and get up close to some of the cars that the team will use for its 2017 racing programme which will include entries into the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

As well as revealing the workshop, the event also provided the team with the first opportunity to display a new state-of-the-art simulator that will be available to drivers as part of their package with the team.

Non-team drivers will also be able to make use of the simulator by appointment, with the facility being viewed as a key part of the team’s ongoing expansion.

The simulator will be present on Stand 6401 at next month’s Autosport International Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

“We’re delighted to be able to reveal the new workshop and simulator facility, and are pleased that so many people were able to come along to the official opening,” team principal Gwyn Richardson said. “A lot of work has gone into the workshop in recent months and it provides us with the ideal base to move forwards with our racing programmes; offering easy access to a range of local suppliers and also being close to Rockingham circuit.

“The simulator is a major part of our future plans and we are confident that it will become a valuable tool for the team over the coming years. It’s something unique that we can offer as part of the package for drivers who are racing with us next year, and will also be available to others who want to gain experience of different circuits and cars.

“Without doubt, these are very exciting times for our team and we are determined to make our mark on track in 2017.”

Having been asked to cut the ribbon during the opening ceremony, Mayor of Corby Councillor Julie Riley, revealed her pleasure at welcoming the team to the area.

“This is a very exciting new venture, and hopefully the town of Corby and businesses like Richardson Racing can move forwards together and be successful in the future,” she said. “I love what the team is doing with the new workshop facilities and am particularly impressed with the way they are working with local apprentices to give them first hand experience of motorsport. I wish them every success.”

2017 British F4 season takes shape as details of Challenge Cup & provisional testing dates confirmed

  • £1,000 available at every meeting to Challenge Cup entrants, as well as one-off £5,000 prize up for grabs during season.
  • Challenge Cup drivers eligible to score championship points and take advantage of lower registration fee.
  • Sponsorship Acquisition Training from leading sports marketing exponent Brian Sims available to first 15 drivers who register for championship.
  • Championship brochure and 2017 British F4 registration form now available.

7 DECEMBER, 2016 – With the dust settling on a thrilling season in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford, details of the new for 2017 Ford F4 Challenge Cup, as well as provisional championship testing dates have been confirmed.

Following what will be remembered as one of the most competitive British F4 seasons in history, the 2017 campaign looks set to be another fiercely contested affair with the introduction of the Ford F4 Challenge Cup giving talented youngsters the chance to prove they have got what it takes in the UK’s leading single-seater series for less than £100,000.

Challenge Cup drivers will compete in seven of the 10 championship meetings, with both the Knockhill meeting and the season finale at Brands Hatch being mandatory. Drivers will then be able to nominate the other five meetings they wish to take part in.

There will be no restriction on which teams can enter, but all teams will be required to adhere to the F4 British Championship’s four car limit.

All technical regulations for Friday official test days and race weekends are identical for both the Championship and Challenge Cup classes – including tyre limits – so as to ensure a level playing field.

A lucrative array of prizes are on offer to Challenge Cup entrants thanks to a £10,000 prize fund courtesy of Ford Motor Company. At each meeting £250 will be awarded to the driver who gains the most places in race one from their grid position; a further £250 will be awarded to the Challenge Cup winner in race two and £500 will be available to the Challenge Cup winner in the final race of the weekend.

As well as a dedicated Challenge Cup podium for each round, there will also be a prize of £5,000 available to the first Challenge Cup driver who wins a race overall.

Championship organisers have left the door open to Challenge Cup drivers turning their efforts to an assault on the overall championship, as they will be eligible to score championship points throughout the season.

To enhance affordability, the registration fees for Challenge Cup drivers will be reduced to £2,000 (ex. VAT). £500 less than the Championship class.

Early registration to either the Championship or Challenge Cup class brings with it the added benefit of Sponsorship Acquisition Training which is available on a first come, first served basis to drivers.

Ford has secured 15 places on this prestigious course developed by one of international sport’s most experienced and successful sports marketing exponents Brian Sims in association with Autosport. This is a unique online training course designed to take F4 British Championship drivers through the entire process of sponsorship acquisition; helping increase their chances of securing meaningful sponsorship.

With final details of the Challenge Cup confirmed; the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford provisional testing schedule has also been announced.

A testing ban will commence from 21 December 2016 until 31 January 2017. From 1 February until the season opener at Brands Hatch (Indy), both Championship class and Challenge Cup drivers will be permitted to undertake open, unregulated testing with no limits on mileage or location.

Following the first race weekend, Challenge Cup drivers will only be permitted to test on the official test days associated with their chosen seven meetings. In addition to this, drivers will be able to choose a further seven days of testing from the championship’s ‘official organised’ test days during the season.

These additional days of testing will be made available to Challenge Cup entrants on a pro-rata basis, so if a driver were to only compete at five meetings, they would only be allowed to take part in the five associated official tests and five ‘official organised’ test days.

2017 Provisional Testing Dates

Date                                                                 Circuit, County
Fri 3 February                                                 Oulton Park, Cheshire
Thu 16 February                                             Brands Hatch (Indy), Kent
Mon 6 March (MEDIA DAY)                            Donington Park, Leics
Wed 8 March     `                                           Brands Hatch (Indy), Kent
Wed 15 March                                                Snetterton, Norfolk
Tue 21 March                                                 Rockingham, Northants
Tue 23/Wed 24 May                                        Croft, North Yorkshire
Tue 30/Wed 31 May                                        Snetterton, Norfolk
Wed 9 August                                                 Knockhill, Fife
Fri 18 August                                                  Rockingham, Northants
Wed 6 September                                            Silverstone, Northants
Wed 20 September                                          Brand Hatch (Indy), Kent

Drivers and teams looking to compete in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford or acquire further details about the 2017 testing schedule should contact championship coordinator Eve Lake-Grange via email.

Prospective entrants for both the Championship and Challenge Cup classes are encouraged to download the F4 British Championship brochure for further information, as well as the 2017 registration form below.

BRITISH F4 2017 BROCHURE DOWNLOAD

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DRIVER REGISTRATION FORM DOWNLOAD

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Jamie Sharp sets sights on British F4 success with new team Sharp Motorsport

  • Young Racing Driver Academy ace Jamie Sharp to take on single-seater rising stars in 2017.
  • Sharp Motorsport to fly flag for north west England in Ford EcoBoost-powered series.

9 NOVEMBER, 2016 – Jamie Sharp will make the step up to the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford in 2017 with new team Sharp Motorsport which will be run by his father Joe Sharp.

15-year-old Sharp will compete for the most coveted championship in British single-seater racing on the back of seven years of karting and has a significant amount of single-seater mileage under his belt with TRS Arden as part of the Young Racing Driver Academy (YRDA). His karting accolades in 2015 alone include MBKC Junior X30 Club Champion, MBKC Junior X30 Cup and Autumn Series Champion, as well as MBKC Junior X30 Winter Series Champion.

Although Jamie will remain part of the YRDA, both he and his father are not daunted by the prospect of taking on the F4 British Championship’s grid of established, high quality teams.

Said his father Joe Sharp: “Jamie has been doing a lot of testing and work with Arden over the last 18 months so he’s got quite a lot of experience.

“We decided to start our own team because we wanted to be in complete control and felt that it would be more fun for everyone. Family and friends are able to have greater involvement which means we can spend time together as we try to achieve our goals.

“Having my own international transport company (Sharp Freight) has also made starting up a team much easier because we already have a lot of the infrastructure in place with vehicles and workshops at our disposal.

“Arden have been so supportive of us. They’ve really looked after Jamie. We’ve done so much training and testing with them. It’s been fantastic, as has the support from championship organisers Racingline who have been helping us out as much as they can.”

Jamie Sharp is unsurprisingly ecstatic about getting the opportunity to race in the UK’s leading single-seater series: “It’s a bit overwhelming in a way, but it’s going to be an incredible experience and I cannot wait to start my first full season racing in cars.

“Testing has gone really well. Every time I go out on the track I improve both my technique and times. I’m really enjoying learning about the car and it’s so much fun to drive.”

According to the Rochdale racer there are some key elements which make competing in the F4 British Championship special: “The fact that it’s on the TOCA package and is the only single-seater support series for the BTCC is a huge plus. It brings with it a lot of attention from fans and the media.

“It is also amazing to race in a championship that has the backing of such a big automotive manufacturer in the form of Ford. To have their engines and EcoBoost technology in the British F4 car is fantastic.

“It’s very exciting to think that my single-seater career has every possibility of going on to even greater heights thanks to this first step with Ford. It gives me added motivation to succeed.”

Success is something that not only father Joe has his sights set on for his son, but also for other rising stars and motorsport talent close to home: “In addition to Jamie we want to be able to give youngsters with less budget the chance to compete and we are trying to source as many people from the north west because there aren’t any teams based in this part of the country.

“Although we will be a small team to begin with we want people to take us seriously. We want to give our drivers the best opportunities so that means giving them the best cars thanks to top engineering talent, as well as a team that looks the part.

“I want to do the best that I can next year and have fun too. If I can get used to the car as much as possible and get everything right before the season starts hopefully I can have a good 2017,” said Jamie Sharp ahead of his first Ford EcoBoost-powered campaign.

“I would love to win the championship in my first year, but I know the quality of the drivers in British F4 is incredibly high. It would be amazing to be up there at front. Ending 2017 as best of the newcomers would be a great achievement.”

“To be able to announce the arrival of two new teams to the F4 British Championship in less than a month is hugely exciting,” commented championship manager David Lowe. “It’s testament to the popularity of the series, but also the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes to make British F4 affordable and approachable for newcomers.

“With Sharp Motorsport joining our grid of esteemed teams we will have an outfit representing the north west of England. In addition to this, in Jamie Sharp the team has a driver with a very bright future ahead of him who has all the ingredients to succeed in the UK’s most competitive single-seater championship.”

Monger recommits to JHR Developments for 2017 British F4 title tilt

  • Derbyshire-based outfit confirms first 2017 British F4 signing.
  • Teenage star Monger bidding to build on burgeoning momentum.
  • Team targets single-seater spoils in UK’s toughest junior series.

Supplied by team’s PR.

2 NOVEMBER, 2016 – Front-running British motorsport outfit JHR Developments has announced the first of its drivers for the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford, with impressive rookie Billy Monger returning to the UK’s premier junior single-seater series for an all-out title push.

Having stepped up to British F4 with JHR from the Ginetta Junior Championship this year, Monger proved to be a quick learner during his maiden campaign – so much so, that he claimed an eye-catching podium double only third time out at Thruxton, the fastest and most fearsome circuit in the country.

The 17-year-old added to his tally with another rostrum at Rockingham, although in truth, that result was a victory snatched from his grasp by late-race misfortune in the form of a temporary technical glitch on the very last lap after leading consummately throughout.

Monger additionally claimed a pole position and fastest lap, with a total of ten points-scoring finishes from 27 starts securing him 12th in the final standings, despite missing the mid-season outing at Croft due to budgetary shortfall.

Moving forward, JHR Team Principal Steven Hunter clearly has high hopes for his promising protégé as the Derbyshire-based operation looks to expand from three cars to four in 2017 in the fiercely-disputed, ITV4-televised BTCC support series, with a significant degree of interest from other prospective drivers in its remaining seats.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have Billy on-board again for another year,” enthused the man whose squad has no fewer than nine titles to its credit in the lower echelons of UK motor racing. “We knew he had immense potential from his stint with us in Ginetta Juniors, and he confirmed that time and again over the course of what was an exceptionally encouraging rookie campaign in British F4.

“Notwithstanding limited testing and his comparative lack of seat time in open-wheel machinery, Billy routinely took the fight to older and more experienced rivals and refused to be intimidated by anybody. He was tremendously unlucky not to win at Rockingham – one of a number of races in which he was denied the result he deserved – but more importantly, he proved he has the pace to run right at the front and be a regular contender for podium finishes if not more.

“It’s great news that we’ve been able to reach an agreement so soon after the end of the season, which means we can really crack on with our preparations for 2017 and lay the foundations for a concerted title bid.”

Monger explained that having forged such a strong relationship with JHR Developments over the past two years, it was an easy decision to remain with the Dronfield squad for a third consecutive campaign.

“For me, it was a no-brainer to stay with JHR,” revealed the Surrey-based teenager. “They’re a great bunch of guys and I feel very much at home inside the team, and that kind of environment really inspires confidence. I learned so much in 2016 as I got to grips with single-seaters, and I think my driving style is naturally quite well-suited to the discipline, which helped to speed things up a bit.

“We proved as the season advanced how much progress we have made and there’s plenty of potential to build upon, so now we need to carry that momentum into the winter and really knuckle down to ensure we come out-of-the-blocks firing on all cylinders next March. The target for 2017 has to be race wins, and if we can achieve that on a consistent basis, then there’s no reason why we can’t challenge for the championship.”

Jacky Liu to be China’s first British F4 driver and compete with new team GW Motorsport

  • 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.

2017 F4 British Championship calendar announced

15 JUNE, 2016 – The provisional calendar for the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford has been announced. Next season’s installment of the UK’s leading junior single-seater series will once again see Ford’s EcoBoost-powered stars do battle at the UK’s finest race circuits.

Brands Hatch (Indy) on 1/2 April will be the curtain raiser, whilst Croft denotes the half-way point of the campaign in June before the traditional summer break. The season then bursts back into life at Snetterton at the end of July; ahead of what is sure to be yet another climactic title run-in, reaching fever-pitch at Brands Hatch (GP) on September 30/October 1.

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford will be contested over 30 races in 2017 as the sole single-seater support series to the UK’s premier motorsport package, the live televised British Touring Car Championship.

2017 represents the 50th year of Ford’s ongoing commitment to developing young drivers. It will see motorsport’s brightest young talents compete for the prestigious title of British F4 Champion and a host of coveted Superlicence points to enable their progression up the FIA motorsport ladder.

The 2016 season of the F4 British Championship has captured the imagination and showcased single-seater racing at its very best. Petru Florescu currently sits at the top of the standings with a 22 point lead from an array of championship challengers including Carlin team-mates Max Fewtrell, James Pull and Devlin DeFrancesco, as well as JHR’s Sennan Fielding and TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds. The wheel-to-wheel action continues at Croft this weekend where British F4 is sure to entertain once more.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

2017 Provisional Calendar

Rounds         Date                                         Circuit, County
1,2,3              Sat 1/Sun 2 April                         Brands Hatch (Indy), Kent
4,5,6              Sat 15/Sun 16 April                     Donington Park, Leics
7,8,9              Sat 6/Sun 7 May                         Thruxton, Hampshire
10,11,12         Sat 20/Sun 21 May                     Oulton Park, Cheshire
13,14,15         Sat 10/Sun 11 June                    Croft, North Yorkshire
16,17,18         Sat 29/Sun 30 July                     Snetterton, Norfolk
19,20,21         Sat 12/Sun 13 August                 Knockhill, Fife
22,23,24         Sat 26/Sun 27 August                 Rockingham, Northants
25,26,27         Sat 16/Sun 17 September            Silverstone, Northants
28,29,30         Sat 30 Sept/Sun 1 October           Brands Hatch (Grand Prix), Kent