York targets top three in F4 British Championship

  • York switches from Ford F4 Challenge Cup to contest remainder of British F4 season.
  • Intensive training programme with APSM and iZone during summer break sees talented teenager brimming with confidence.

25 JULY, 2017 – Oliver York has been a standout performer in the Ford F4 Challenge Cup with seven wins and seven second place finishes in class, and this season’s leading rookie has big ambitions as he embarks upon the second half of the 2017 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost campaign. The Fortec Motorsports racer will switch from the Challenge Cup and focus his efforts on the overall championship in a bid to climb up the table from seventh and consistently fight at the front for race wins.

Although his Challenge Cup success has put him at the top of the class standings by a margin of 40 points, York’s motivation for turning his attention solely to the overall championship is clear: “Top three in the championship is my aim,” said York. “That’s what I’m working towards in the second half of the season.

“I believe I can achieve that and that’s why I have chosen to switch from the Challenge Cup to compete in all the remaining races this season. At the beginning of the year everyone aims to be in the top three and at the front. If you can take the title it’s a bonus.”

Andy Priaulx Sports Management (APSM) and iZone Driver Performance have been honing York’s skills behind the wheel during the summer break in an effort to help him fulfil his ambitions and prepare for a frenetic two months which will see the 16-year-old contest 16 races.

“The team at APSM and iZone have been working with me so I can hit the ground running. Both in terms of fitness and track knowledge. I’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator and focused on learning the remaining circuits on the calendar.

“APSM and iZone believe in me. We all want to get that first British F4 win under our belts. We’ve already achieved a lot, including podiums and a pole position, but my first race win is the next big target. It’s the only thing that’s missing.”

Further support has come from his those around him in the Fortec Motorsports team. Namely guidance from his engineer Dan Mitchell, team owner Richard Dutton and team manager Ollie Dutton who have created an environment in which York believes both he and his team-mates can excel.

“At Fortec we always want to achieve top results, but the team also tries to create an enjoyable atmosphere to help take the pressure off,” said York. “There are other things beyond just the racing. They understand that and create a relaxed environment for drivers which really helps while everyone works towards the same goal. We want to win, but we want to have fun while doing it.

“Oulton Park didn’t go to plan because we didn’t do any testing beforehand and I missed half of the first practice session because of a school exam,” explained York, reflecting on the ups and downs in his maiden Ford EcoBoost-powered season. “At Croft we were really fast in the dry, but then it rained in qualifying which threw us a bit.

“My pole position at Thruxton is my biggest achievement so far. The second place at Donington Park was also pretty special. I could have perhaps won that race. Jamie Caroline and I were trading fastest lap times. We ended up being about 15 seconds ahead of everyone else. We were so fast.”

York also has plenty of admiration for the F4 British Championship which is enabling him to build an excellent platform from which to progress up the FIA single-seater pyramid: “The racing in British F4 is one of the best things about the series. It’s so close. Everyone is out there for one thing and one thing only. To win. It’s what makes it so exciting and so special. You feel like you really have to earn your success.

“The championship is run incredibly well. We get a lot of track time and three 20 minute races every weekend on the TOCA package as the sole single-seater support series to the British Touring Car Championship. It means we get so much exposure with lots of fans and television coverage.”

York returns to action in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost this weekend (28-30 July) at Snetterton. Many will be keen to see if his hard work over the summer has paid off as he bids to finally stand on the top step of the podium in the UK’s leading junior single-seater series.

International kart champion Oliver York joins British F4’s Challenge Cup with Fortec Motorsports

  • Karting star Oliver York has sights set on double British F4 title tilt.
  • 15-year-old from Pyrford, Surrey is the first Fortec Motorsports driver confirmation for 2017 British F4 season.

8 MARCH, 2017 – IAME X30 international junior kart champion and Super One champion Oliver York has signed with Fortec Motorsports to contest the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. A new initiative for 2017, introduced by organisers of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford, to enable drivers to compete for under £100,000.

Although York’s sights are set on Challenge Cup success, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of gunning for the crown of FIA British Formula 4 Champion and the 12 FIA Super Licence points that go with it. The 15-year-old is eyeing up a double title tilt should he get his campaign off to a flying start, with drivers competing in the Challenge Cup also eligible to score points in the overall championship.

Said York: “I’m very excited to join the F4 British Championship with Fortec Motorsports. It’s the world’s most competitive junior single-seater series, with live television coverage and thousands of trackside spectators at every meeting.

“This is an incredible opportunity for me to showcase my talent against some of the fastest and most exciting motor racing prospects.

“It’s the best championship to go into from karting and to begin my single-seater career with Fortec is even more special. The team know what it takes to succeed and they have been brilliant at helping me to understand the car.

“Testing has been going really well. I’m learning every lap and I’m confident we can achieve some brilliant results. I think we can fight for the Ford F4 Challenge Cup and have a shot at the British F4 title if everything goes to plan.”

Fortec Motorsports head into the 2017 British F4 season on the back of a stellar 2016 campaign, having won the Rookie Class title with Alex Quinn who claimed a remarkable 16 class wins, including three overall race victories.

Commented Fortec Motorsports team manager Dan Mitchell: “Oliver has a lot to learn, but he is unquestionably a very talented and promising young racer. He’s a double karting champion so comes into this season with a winning mentality.

“It’s going to be a tough year with the British F4 grid shaping up to be incredibly competitive yet again, but we’re confident Oliver can go really well in 2017.

“We’re very keen to do an excellent job with him this season, especially after how well he has performed in testing.”

Mitchell’s cautious optimism is not misplaced with York having impressed in his official pre-season test debut at Brands Hatch Indy which saw him finish third on the timesheets, just a tenth adrift of the fastest time. This was followed up at Donington Park, by comfortably ending the test inside the top 10.

York’s step up to the UK’s leading single-seater series represents an important milestone for Richard Dutton’s Fortec squad, as York is the first product of the team’s junior driver programme to progress from karting to Formula 4.

Andy Priaulx Sports Management (APSM) have also played an integral role in York’s development and will look to combine their expert mentoring, advanced training technology and performance psychology in a bid to give York the edge on track.

Explained York: “Being part of the Fortec Motorsports junior driver programme has been a key part of my development and the fantastic support of APSM has accelerated my progression further. I hope we can carry my championship-winning momentum from karting into cars this season.”

York’s quest for glory in the F4 British Championship and Ford F4 Challenge Cup commences in the inaugural rounds of the season on 1/2 April at Brands Hatch. The Ford EcoBoost-powered series will play a starring role on the live-televised TOCA package alongside the ever-popular British Touring Car Championship.

TEAM NEWS: Quinn and Kjaergaard forge ahead with Fortec in British F4 Rookie class

Supplied by team’s PR.

29 AUGUST, 2016 – Alex Quinn cemented his lead in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford Rookie Class competition with a hat trick of class victories at Rockingham Motor Speedway, taking his 2016 tally to 15 wins. Fortec Motorsports team mate Nicolai Kjaergaard stormed to second place in the 2016 Rookie class standings after an impressive event, with Jamie Caroline producing some of the most outstanding overtaking of the weekend.

The Fortec Motorsports squad commenced its British F4 Rockingham attack with Quinn rounding out the top ten in the combined classification for Friday’s practice sessions. Jamie Caroline, in the #38 Fortec Motorsport Mygale-Ford, set the twelfth fastest time, with team-mates rookie Nicolai Kjaergaard and Frank Bird in fourteenth and fifteenth respectively.

Saturday brought changeable conditions and a drying track for qualifying, but the Fortec squad pulled it together once again to make the best of the tyres and track time. Quinn was the fastest rookie and Fortec driver ending the session in P3, however, with second fastest driver Devlin DeFrancesco carried a 10 place grid penalty from the Knockhill event, therefore Quinn was promoted to the front row of the grid for the start of race one (round 22). Kjaergaard was ninth, followed by Bird in P10 and Caroline in a surprisingly disappointing eighteenth.

The afternoon brought a thrilling round 22 for the spectators at Rockingham and as the rain fell Quinn flew off the line ensuring that he was side by side with pole sitter James Pull going into the first corner. Pull emerged from Deene hairpin in the lead, but 15 year-old Quinn continued to match the pace of the Carlin racer up until the half way stage when only then did Pull edge a gap to take the victory in the increasingly slippery conditions. Quinn took the chequered flag not only achieving a further second placed championship podium and fastest Rookie lap, but also his 13th Rookie class win of 2016.

After a below par qualifying, British F4 appointed rainmaster, Jamie Caroline, ended the day as the standout driver by a country mile.  A storming start from the back of the grid saw him fly through the field in the drag around the banking on the run down to Deene hairpin, boldly hanging on around the outside to pass several cars to conclude his opening lap an astonishing ten places higher. The Pirtek Racing star continued to shine when he passed another four cars on his way to fourth position, pulling off the move of the race going cleanly around the outside of Sennan Fielding (JHR) at Tarzan.

Nicolai Kjaergaard came home in eighth place overall, and as the second Rookie, earning him points to boost him in to the runner up position of the 2016 Rookie class cup and awarding him pole position for the start of round 23. Frank Bird drove a solid race to cross the finish line in P14.

With a reverse grid for the start of round 23 it was Kjaergaard who lined up in pole position for #TeamFortec, with Caroline on the third row in P5, Quinn directly behind him in P7 and Bird in P13.

When the lights went out the leading four drivers all dived into the first corner, with Rafael Martins (Arden) and Kjaergaard making contact. Luckily both stayed pointing in the right direction as the Ford EcoBoost stampede sped around the Rockingham Motor Speedway banking. Kjaergaard bravely held on to own to take the chequered flag as third rookie in P11 overall.

Caroline profited from the drama at the start to finding himself soon running up in third, only to lose out on position at a safety car restart after the recovery of Matthiesen’s JTR car at Yentwood corner. He then found himself under attack from team-mate Quinn, but as the race progressed was able to gradually break clear and complete the contest in P4.

In the closing laps Quinn fell into the clutches of James Pull who pulled off a late braking move on the Racing Steps Foundation backed rookie to claim fifth. However, Pull was later excluded from the race for overtaking under safety car boards and flags, leaving Quinn to claim P5 in addition to his 14th Rookie Class win. An electrical issue caused Bird’s premature retirement from the race on lap eight.

The 20 minutes long weekend finale on Sunday saw Quinn complete a hat trick of Rookie class victories by achieving a fifth placed finish overall. Caroline, who started round 24 in P18 after his disappointing qualifying session, took the chequered flag in P14 with his Danish team mate Kjaergaard finishing in P18 whilst achieving a third place trophy in the Rookie class. Bird, who had started the race from the sixth row of the grid in P11 crossed the finish line to conclude the Rockingham weekend in P17.

Dan Mitchell, team manager, Fortec Motorsports British F4 Team:
“The weekend was frustrating. After a disappointing Friday we really left ourselves with a lot of hard work to do over night. The work paid off and we saw a very different Saturday. Qualifying was much better; Frank was P11 in the end but the session saw him fighting for pole at one stage! Nicolai did a great job to find his Snetterton form and be in the top eight. Quinn on the front row was a brilliant job.
“We would have liked better results from Sunday’s races; we didn’t quite race hard enough to enable more podiums, but the boys are still learning. Silverstone is next and after a good couple of tests we are really looking forward to this one.”

Alex Quinn, #7 Fortec Motorsports
“Overall it was a pretty good weekend with constantly good points thanks to my 2nd, 5th and 5th. I know where I need to improve for Silverstone and our pace should be good!”

Jamie Caroline, #38 Fortec Motorsports
“It was a decent weekend made hard by the poor qualifying session we had. I did the best I could given the positions I had to start all the races from and had a great time in race two! It was unfortunate that race three was ruined by my having to avoid an incident, but we’re looking ahead to Silverstone now and what we can do there.”

TEAM NEWS: Fortec Motorsports’ Alex Quinn extends lead in F4 British Championship Rookie Class

16 AUGUST, 2016 – Racing Steps Foundation backed Alex Quinn extended his lead in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford Rookie Class competition with a hat trick of class victories and two overall race wins at Knockhill circuit, Fife. Fortec Motorsports team-mate Nicolai Kjaergaard also secured two rookie class podiums to close the gap to second place in the 2016 class standings during what proved to be a dramatic weekend for the series.

Quinn wasted no time in acclimatising to the 1.27-mile Scottish circuit and shone when conditions were at their best to set the day’s quickest practice time on Friday. Fortec Motorsports drivers Jamie Caroline (supported by Pirtek Racing), Danish rookie Nicolai Kjaergaard and Ginetta Junior’s graduate Frank Bird set the 12th, 14th and 15th fastest combined practice times respectively.

There was a change in pace on Saturday morning when a bold decision taken by the Daventry based squad, led by team manager Dan Mitchell, meant that all four Fortec drivers were able to impress by the end of qualifying. With a dry line beginning to emerge after a sudden downpour at the start of the session, the team elected to fit the quartet with slick tyres with just minutes on the clock remaining. With only Petru Florescu (Carlin) also on the dry weather tyre, the battle for pole rapidly became about who could get their slicks up to temperature before the chequered flag.

Florescu stole pole position in the closing seconds, but overall it was front of grid domination for Fortec Motorsports. Quinn was second quickest and netted pole for the final race of the weekend, Kjaergaard was fourth followed by Bird in a superb P5, his best qualifying finish of the season, and Caroline, who had twice posted times good enough for provisional pole only to have them removed for track limits and a five place grid penalty carried over from Snetterton a fortnight ago, on row four in P8.

Quinn drove an impeccable first race in the afternoon, chasing Florescu from lights to flag to make a welcome return to the podium and clinch the Rookie win along with the fastest class lap. Kjaergaard defended well for much of the race and kept his nose clean when the more experienced title contenders fought their way through the field. Caroline made up several positions in a solid drive to cross the line in fifth with Kjaergaard in P11.

With a reverse grid for the start of Round 20 on Sunday morning Caroline lined up in P2, Quinn in P7, Kjaergaard P11 and Bird in P13. During the 17 lap contest Caroline received a 10 second time penalty for making a false start, but maintained concentration to defend fiercely against Devlin DeFrancesco and Florescu as they set upon his #38 Fortec Motorsport Mygale-Ford. The Carlin pair’s fortunes took a downturn at Taylor’s Hairpin when they made contact together and slid into the tyre barriers. Following the incident, the officials chose to exclude Florescu from the meeting due to a trackside altercation, whilst DeFrancesco and Caroline were handed ten place grid penalties to be taken when possible to do so.

Quinn found himself in the middle of the leading pack action, but despite just missing out on a main podium at the end of the eventful race, claimed his 11th Rookie class win of the year. Bird closed out the top 10 with Kjaergaard following in P11 and taking the third place Rookie trophy.

In true British F4 fashion, the weekend finale was not short of drama either. Quinn made an impressive start from pole position for his Fortec team only to suffer a lack of straight line pace which was to endure until the chequered flag. Despite this handicap, he completed a hat trick of Rookie class victories and fastest laps by achieving a third place podium finish to conclude Sunday afternoon.

Jamie Caroline, who started Round 21 in P12 and DeFrancesco resumed their earlier battle, this time for eighth position. Caroline came up trumps at the chequered flag with his Danish team mate Kjaergaard rounding out the top ten and closing the gap to second place in the Rookie class to just five points with a second place trophy. For the majority of his race Bird was locked in close combat with Ayrton Simmons (TRS Arden) and took the chequered flag in P14.

With the time sheet for round 19 amended by the stewards after Florescu’s exclusion from the meeting, Quinn was awarded the overall race one win, with Caroline promoted to fourth and Kjaergaard earning a point for P10.

Dan Mitchell, team manager, Fortec Motorsports:
“Firstly, I’d like to say a big thanks to all my guys; Saturday morning qualifying was a complete team effort to get all four drivers in to the top six. Alex took advantage of his high qualifying position which eventually saw us pick up our first win since Donington, which is a great feeling.

“Frank, Nic and Jamie struggled for pace in race one, which gradually got better in race three, but we’ve got to work much harder to convert these higher positions in to valuable points. Pole in race three proved difficult to convert as a failing wire loom caused Alex to lose a significant amount of straight line speed, which got progressively worse through out the race. But he drove superbly through the corners to nurse a sick car home into third place.”

Alex Quinn, #7 Fortec Motorsports
“In the last race I lost the lead to Zane on the opening lap and I think that was just down to tyre temperature which we have been struggling with all weekend, but I’m still really happy with this. A win in race one and a podium is not a bad thing to be coming out of the weekend with. I’m really happy with my performance and the team’s performance. It’s definitely been a step higher after the summer break. It’s great to be back at the top here and I’m looking forward to the next round.”

Nicolai Kjaergaard, #63 Fortec Motorsports

“It’s been a tough weekend really. We’ve struggled with the setup of the car and I haven’t managed to adapt to this track as well as I would have hoped. I still managed to keep some of the rookies’ behind me though which has given me good points for the Rookie Championship.”
Rounds 22, 23, 24 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford take place on 27-28, August at the Rockingham Motor Speedway, Northamptonshire.

Florescu leaves it late for British F4 pole at Knockhill

  • Carlin’s Petru Florescu claims thrilling last gasp pole.
  • All four of Fortec Motorsports’ drivers star after team’s inspired decision to switch to slicks.

KNOCKHILL 13 AUGUST, 2016 – Championship leader Petru Florescu was in the right place at the right time at Knockhill thanks to an expertly judged last gasp switch to slicks to claim his sixth pole of the season in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

With a dry line beginning to emerge after a sudden downpour at the start of qualifying Carlin’s Florescu and Fortec Motorsports’ quartet of runners boldly elected to come into the pits to fit slick tyres with just minutes remaining. The battle for pole rapidly becoming all about who could get their slick tyres up to temperature and cross the line last before the chequered flag fell.

Florescu used every ounce of his experience and guile to time his run to perfection. Having crossed the line with one second to spare, he proceeded to light up the timing screens to steal pole from Fortec’s Alex Quinn with a 51.447s lap.

Said the poleman: “I managed to get two flying laps on the slicks and I almost went off on the second lap because I was pushing so hard. It was a good qualifying and now we’ll see what we can do in the race.

“I made the call to change the tyres. I saw a dry line forming, but I didn’t know how dry it was in the first sector. I thought it was still going to be wet, but I saw it was dry and just pushed.”

The Fortec Motorsports runners were the first to make the inspired switch which paid huge dividends. Racing Steps Foundation-backed star Alex Quinn going second quickest and netting pole for the final race of the weekend courtesy of his second fastest lap time.

Commented Quinn: “I’m so excited. It’s really good to be back at the front after Snetterton and I’m looking forward to the next races. To be on the front row for race one and pole for race three is what we wanted, although it would have been nice to have pole for race one but that’s how it goes sometimes.

“The track was drying and I was always wondering when it would be possible to go to slicks. It was quite difficult on the slicks in the first sector because it was so wet and it was hard to judge how much I could push because the track was drying so quickly. I think we did really well to get on top of that.”

Jamie Caroline looked like a real contender in the dying minutes, twice posting times good enough for provisional pole, only to have them removed for track limits. A clean lap finally arriving on his last attempt, but leaving Caroline ruing a case of what might have been compounded by a five place grid penalty carried over from Snetterton a fortnight ago.

Said Caroline: “It could have been even better. I didn’t have enough time to warm the tyres up properly and I feel that if I hadn’t been so close to Petru on my final lap I would have been able to get a really good time in.

“It was such a fine line between the dry line and the wet line out there. I understeered onto a wet patch on my final lap and thankfully I didn’t spin, but that moment cost me pole. I was loving it out there though on a damp track with slicks.”

Added Fortec Motorsports team manager Dan Mitchell: “We tested here last year in November and Alex had 20 minutes in the sort of conditions we had today so we knew the crossover time. As soon as we hit that time we brought the cars in for slicks.

“The mechanics did an awesome job changing the tyres. To change tyres on all four cars so quickly to get them out there and qualify so well is brilliant.”

Rafael Martins was quickest of the TRS Arden drivers ahead of Fortec’s Nicolai Kjaergaard and Frank Bird; the latter having by far his best qualifying of the season.

Explained Bird: “It feels really good and it’s a great result for the Fortec team. Hopefully we can carry this through into the race.

“I didn’t know how well I was doing out there because the lap times weren’t showing on my dashboard. When I pitted for slicks I wasn’t sure if it was the right decision, but then there was a dry line on the last few laps and it paid off.”

Championship protagonists Leeds, Fielding, Fewtrell and Pull remained on wet tyres and this proved to be their undoing as the track conditions went away from them. They will line up 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th respectively, but are sure to provide an entertaining spectacle as they try to fight through the field.

Fellow title contender Devlin DeFrancesco fared better in qualifying. He will start from the third row of the grid and look to take further points away from his rivals.

Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard’s ended up seventh fastest having been on provisional pole at various stages throughout the session. The slippery 1.27-mile track playing into the hands of Aussie who excelled in similar conditions during testing yesterday. Billy Monger also shone, at times also finding himself in P1. He will line up ninth in this afternoon’s race which gets underway at 1635.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional qualifying times Knockhill 13 August 2016
Grid order for Round 19
1 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 51.447s
2 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 51.871s
3 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 52.664s
4 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec 52.722s
5 Frank BIRD / GBR / Fortec 53.048s
6 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 53.223s
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R 53.561s
8 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Fortec 52.415s (5 Place Grid Penalty)
9 Billy MONGER / GBR / JHR 53.627s
10 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 56.638s etc.

Round 21 grid order (based on second-fastest times): Quinn – Caroline – Leeds – Goddard – Fielding – Monger – Florescu – Fewtrell – Martins – Pull  etc.

Full times 

 

Jamie Caroline and Fortec Motorsports join forces to take F4 British Championship challenge up a gear

  • Fan favourite Jamie Caroline switches from Jamun Racing to Fortec Motorsports in a move that could prove pivotal in the Ford EcoBoost-powered championship.

8 JUNE, 2016 – Jamie Caroline is to race the remainder of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford season for Fortec Motorsports. The news comes after a hugely promising start to the 2016 campaign with Jamun for last year’s Ginetta Junior Champion. His electrifying starts, audacious overtaking manoeuvres and numerous battles through the field have captured the imagination of many, seeing Caroline become a real hit with fans.

His father Lee Caroline, who is no stranger to motorsport success as 2003 TVR Tuscan Challenge Champion gives a fascinating insight into his son’s season so far: “In December it didn’t even look like Jamie would be racing because the budget wasn’t there. Then Jamun got Keltbray sponsorship for the team and we also had Pirtek come on board.

“Without Jamun and Keltbray at the start of the season we wouldn’t have even been on the grid so I just want to express how grateful we are to them.

“Because we have had a good showing in the first part of the year and unfortunately Ross Martin has lost his seat at Fortec due to budgetary reasons; it has put us in a positon where Fortec would really like us to help them take the fight to Carlin.

“Jamie has got quite a few fans now. It’s funny really because you see people walking around with flags and things with Jamie on it. A lot of that is thanks to the Pirtek relationship and how great the car looks in their colours.

“People within motorsport know we are on a limited budget and therefore we haven’t been able to do much testing, but you look back at the races at Donington and Thruxton this season and Jamie has made them exciting. I’m proud he’s doing so well in the F4 British Championship.”

Caroline currently lies eighth in the standings with 95 points and 4 podiums to his name. The Warlingham racer is still very much in contention for the title with 18 rounds remaining. He will no doubt be hoping that the switch to powerhouse team Fortec Motorsports, who have already helped super-talented rookie Alex Quinn to his maiden British F4 victory, can make his title ambitions a reality.

Added EDGE Sporting Management who have played a pivotal role in guiding Caroline through his motorsport success: “There’s an element of sadness with Jamun not carrying on this season. They’ve been very successful in this world of Ford powered single-seat motorsport for a very long time. It was nice to end on a high with James [Mundy] and his Jamun team with two podiums at Oulton Park.

“Going forward it’s going to be exciting to see what Jamie can do with a big team like Fortec who have done a particularly good job with Quinn this year. It will be interesting to see what Jamie can bring to the table and what Fortec can give to Jamie. It should hopefully be a good partnership. They have been testing this week at Anglesey and I’m hoping that will help to accelerate the development of the relationship.”

The move represents something of a coup for Richard Dutton’s Fortec Motorsport’s team. Caroline’s performances have caught the eye of many in the motorsport fraternity. He will be a welcome addition to a team which boasts an enviable wealth of rookie talent in the form of Nicolai Kjaergaard and Frank Bird who race alongside Quinn.

Commented Fortec Motorsports team manager Dan Mitchell: “We’re really happy to have Jamie with us. It was a shame things couldn’t come together for Ross Martin, but luckily Jamie was available.

“Jamie has shown great pace and we hope to be able to put him on the top step of the podium pretty soon. He knows Frank Bird from Ginettas last year. They get on really well. I think he will work brilliantly with Alex too. They will help push each other.

“Carlin seem pretty strong. They are 1-2-3 in the championship at the moment and it would be good for us to get to the front. Jamie can helps us do that. I think we can start off on the right foot at Croft on 18/19 June and be strong from the outset.”

Frank Bird makes switch to Ford-powered MSA Formula

  • Frank Bird signs with Fortec Motorsports to compete in Ford British F4
  • 2016 seen as a learning year for the 16 year-old

19 February, 2016 – Frank Bird is to contest the 2016 Ford British F4 season with Fortec Motorsports. The 16 year-old enters the single-seater fraternity after a 2015 which saw him compete in the Ginetta Junior Championship.

His signing completes Fortec’s 2016 Ford British F4 driver line-up. It includes Formula Kart Stars champion Ross Martin, Dane Nicolai Kjaergaard and Alex Quinn who is backed by the Racing Steps Foundation.

Bird joins Jamie Caroline in making the switch to the Ford EcoBoost-powered series. He has high hopes of emulating the on-track success of his father Paul Bird who had a prolific racing career on both four and two wheels. Nevertheless, he is keen to temper expectations for his first year in the series.

Said Bird: “2016 will be a learning year. I know the season is going to be tough, but I know I will have a great team around me supporting me all the way and I’m looking forward to seeing how I fare against fellow Ginetta Junior graduate Jamie Caroline.

“The Ford British F4 is an ideal series in which to start my single-seater career. It really is exciting times, to be racing with the Fortec team and competing in motorsport where my Dad has such a great background. Plus I’ve got some fantastic sponsors on board for 2016 including Be Wiser Insurance, Mac Tools and Frank Bird Poultry.”

Fortec Motorsports team manager Dan Mitchell echoed the sentiments of Frank, emphasising that 2016 would be very much about development: “Frank has spent a year competing in Ginetta Juniors and hasn’t done any karting so in many respects he’s a proper single-seater rookie. We took him on last summer and he’s been working with us a lot as part of our driver development programme.

“The target for this season is constant improvement and to get him to the front of the Ford British F4 grid within two years. As long as he keeps improving throughout the year we will be happy.  I would like to think that in his second season he’ll be a strong favourite for the title.”