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.”

Max Fewtrell: FIA British Formula 4 Champion in profile

12 OCTOBER, 2016 – The 2016 instalment of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford saw no driver steal a march on a super-talented field. As unpredictability became the norm it was fitting that this year’s “Mr Consistent”, Max Fewtrell, was crowned FIA British Formula 4 Champion.

The Carlin ace was consistency personified whilst his competitors’ form fluctuated throughout the season. A remarkable total of 16 podium finishes, more than any other driver, the foundation of his title triumph.

Three of those podiums saw him stand on the top step. His first victory coming at only the second meeting of the year at Donington Park. His last undoubtedly the most special and important. Winning the season finale and with it the title having been chased home by the formidable and more experienced Sennan Fielding.

Explained Fewtrell: “It was the icing on the cake to win the final race and clinch the title. A huge weight off my shoulders with everything going down to the last race. I’m really pleased for the team and everyone who has helped me.

“In British F4 there are so many great, fast drivers all competing at the front. To be battling with Sennan who is such a brilliant and experienced driver until the very end was incredible. It all makes winning the title feel even more special, having done it against such close competition.

“As a driver you always want to take as many wins as possible and I think I had the pace to do that, but with the way things played out this season I stayed consistent and tried to get as many points and podiums as I could. My level of consistency was very good throughout the year and that definitely helped me seal the title.

“Becoming FIA British Formula 4 Champion is the biggest achievement of my career. It’s been such a great year. Coming into the season there were so many quick drivers and it’s been so close throughout 2016. I really didn’t know who was going to take the title.

Fewtrell’s metronomic consistency also played a pivotal role in Carlin winning the Teams’ Cup for a second consecutive season, with team boss Trevor Carlin full of praise for the 17-year-old. “I’m very happy we have been able to do the double and I’m so pleased for Max. To get pole and lead every lap in the final race under a lot of pressure was a champion’s drive. Max is a great driver. He is his own man and the sky is the limit. He is an amazing and worthy champion.”

Look beyond the remarkable podium and points scoring statistics and you find what has really made Fewtrell so brilliant: composed, calm and calculated on track and an utter professional off it. Meticulous in his preparation, fiercely determined and more than capable of rising to the task under immense pressure.

His success in 2016 came as no surprise to those in the know, following his performance in pre-season testing where he was frequently found towards the very top of the timesheets.

Said Gerard Quinn, Senior Manager, Ford Performance Europe: “Congratulations to Max. It’s a huge achievement when you consider that there were six contenders going into the final meeting who could have taken the title.

“As a company Ford has been involved at this level of motorsport for almost 50 years. To be able to give people like Max and all the other drivers on the grid the opportunity to go racing, but also aspire to a future career in motor racing is so important.

“We have had previous champions like Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button and hopefully in the future we will see a name like Max Fewtrell in Formula 1.”

Fewtrell’s season has in a many ways embodied what the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford is all about; a series which nurtures and develops the talent of young drivers. A fact that championship manager David Lowe is all too aware of when giving his take on Fewtrell’s performance: “Max has shown that you don’t have to be up the front winning all the time. Strong placings can give you an advantage. Max has driven a steady year, gained the points and he’s capitalised on that in the end.

“This is a learning championship and Max’s season is a perfect example of how you should approach this series. He has moved forward and developed throughout the year on the back of a lot of hard work. To have put together the year he has and finish it off with a win is a shining example of how an FIA British Formula 4 Champion should perform.”

Commented Paul Fewtrell the father of the 2016 FIA British Formula 4 Champion: “For Max to win it the way he did with Sennan who was pushing him all the way was incredible for the series and for Max. He has done so well and we are really proud of him.

“The whole F4 British Championship: the community; all the championship staff; how the championship is promoted; the way drivers are looked after; it’s all amazing. I have brought a lot of friends and sponsors to race weekends and they are so impressed by the level of professionalism.

“British F4 is a big stepping stone. It’s part of the journey. It’s been amazing for Max’s career and for him as a person. He has grown through this experience and we have as a family. I’m old and thought I had seen it all, but after this year I definitely haven’t!”

Just like his father, the magnitude of what he has achieved this season is certainly not lost on Fewtrell. The prize of a fully funded test with leading FIA F3 European Championship team Motopark courtesy of British F4 series partner and tyre supplier Hankook, 12 FIA Super Licence Points, as well as his newfound status as FIA British Formula 4 Champion are sure to propel him up the FIA single-seater pyramid.

“This is such a great championship to make the transition from karting to racing cars,” said Fewtrell. “Taking the title will increase my profile and will hopefully make more people take an interest in me. It opens doors which can usually be quite hard to open.

“I just want to enjoy this incredible feeling. There’s some hard work ahead for next year, but hopefully plenty more success too.”

New Ford F4 British Championship Challenge Cup launched for 2017

28 SEPTEMBER, 2016 – 2017 will see an exciting development in junior single-seater racing with the introduction of the Ford F4 British Championship Challenge Cup. Run to identical regulations as the overall Championship class, the Challenge Cup will give drivers the chance to race against motorsport’s brightest young stars at a reduced budget in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford.

Prizes for Challenge Cup drivers include: free scholarship entry for the 2017 Challenge Cup victor to the 2018 F4 British Championship worth £15,000; £10,000 cash prize fund across the season courtesy of Ford Motor Company; podium for the Challenge Cup class at every round and £5,000 cash prize available to the first Challenge Cup driver to win a race overall.

Entrants will compete in seven of the ten F4 British Championship race meetings during the season and the championship registration fee will be lowered to £2,000.

Testing for Challenge Cup drivers during the season will be limited to Friday official test days of chosen meetings, plus seven additional official organised test days.

Both technical and sporting regulations will be identical to the overall Championship class. Therefore all drivers compete equally on track, with any Challenge Cup driver eligible to finish in the overall race podium positions and score points in the overall championship.

Explained championship manager David Lowe: “There are a lot of drivers who have so much talent, but haven’t got sufficient budget behind them to make the step to single-seaters.

“The F4 British Championship has always strived to provide exceptional value in terms of cost per track mile. Coupled with the Motor Sport Association’s directive to provide affordable motor racing, the introduction of the Challenge Cup in 2017 ensures that the series remains at the forefront of providing highly competitive, yet affordable racing.

“The Challenge Cup gives drivers who might have thought the crucial first step on the FIA single-seater pyramid was out of reach the chance to compete in Britain’s most competitive single-seater series and on a level playing field.

“It is our hope that drivers who race in the Challenge Cup will be able to progress by making full use of their experience and increased exposure in British F4 to embark on an assault for the overall championship the following season.”

Gerard Quinn, Senior Manager, Ford Performance Europe added: “2017 will be Ford’s 50th consecutive year of supporting young drivers at grass roots level. The introduction of the Ford F4 British Championship Challenge Cup next season is therefore a timely and excellent example of this commitment.

“The Challenge Cup is a perfect addition to the hugely successful F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford and will strengthen the series further. Ford continues to develop motor racing’s stars of the future and the Challenge Cup enhances the Championship’s standing as the ideal place for drivers to begin their journey up the FIA single-seater pyramid.”

All interested parties should email F4 British Championship Coordinator Eve Lake-Grange by clicking here.