Quinn quickest in British F4 testing at Knockhill

  • Racing Steps Foundation backed Quinn beats Fielding to testing honours by 0.038s.
  • Fielding and DeFrancesco’s fine form continues.
  • Three tenths of a second covers the top 10 runners in British F4.

KNOCKHILL 12 AUGUST, 2016 – Fortec Motorsports rookie Alex Quinn wasted no time in acclimatising to the 1.27-mile Knockhill circuit and shone when conditions were at their best to round off an impressive testing performance with the day’s quickest time.

However, with the top ten runners separated by just three tenths of a second there is sure to be no shortage of challengers for top honours this weekend. Sennan Fielding and Devlin DeFrancesco looking like strong candidates to feature on the podium throughout the weekend, much like they did at Snetterton a fortnight ago.

The first blow of the weekend was struck by Fielding who went quickest in the morning session. The JHR Developments driver bided his time before venturing out on the damp circuit, but worked his way to the top of the timesheets just before a red flag was thrown due to an off track excursion for Quinn.

Carlin’s Max Fewtrell and Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard spent much of the first part of the session leading the field. Along with Fielding, Quinn, Pull and DeFrancesco they were the only drivers to break into the 54 second bracket; separated by less than three tenths. Whilst Fortec Motorsports’ Frank Bird had a late flurry of quick laps to go faster than Monger.

Fielding picked up where he left off in the dry second session, but Quinn and DeFrancesco had other ideas, both drivers leapfrogging the Amigos backed star with about 15 minutes remaining. Quinn’s time of 50.086s would prove to be the quickest of the day, but only by 0.038s as Fielding responded late on to end up P2, demoting DeFrancesco to third.

Championship leader Petru Florescu and Pull joined DeFrancesco in the top five for much of the session until TRS Arden’s Rafael Martin’s and Ayrton Simmons got in on the act to go fourth and fifth respectively. Meanwhile Aussies Luis Leeds and Goddard left it late to climb up to sixth and seventh.

The rain returned for the final test session of the day and it was frequent Friday flyer Pull who came to the fore ahead of Fewtrell and Goddard. The latter revelling in the slippery conditions, just as he had in the morning. Fortec Motorsports’ Jamie Caroline also made steady progress up the timesheets during the session, finishing just three-hundredths off of Florescu.

Official qualifying is set for 1105 tomorrow ahead of a 1635 start for the championship’s 19th round. There are two further races on Sunday, the second of which will be screened live on ITV4 at 1625.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Leading testing times Knockhill 12 August 2016 (sessions 1/2/3)
1 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec 54.886 / 50.086 / 55.047
2 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 54.718 / 50.124 / 54.658
3 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin 54.967 / 50.194 / 54.637
4 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden 55.403 / 50.258 / 55.586
5 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden 55.444 / 50.279 / 55.426
6 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden 55.257 / 50.291 / 55.099
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double 54.742 / 50.328 / 54.570
8 James PULL / GBR / Carlin 54.862 / 50.331 / 54.460
9 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin 55.259 / 50.349 / 54.977
10 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 54.739 / 50.404 / 54.564 etc.

Full times

Fantastic Fielding unstoppable at Snetterton in F4 British Championship

  • Fielding doubles up with Snetterton victories for JHR Developments.
  • Fortec Motorsports’ Nicolai Kjaergaard claims a hat-trick of Rookie Class wins.

SNETTERTON 31 JULY, 2016 – Following his flawless qualifying performance and lights to flag victory yesterday, many touted Sennan Fielding for the win once more. The JHR Developments driver didn’t disappoint from pole.

The Amigos backed star has been in the ascendancy all weekend and victory in Round 18 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered Ford capped off a stellar 48 hours for the driver.

Said the weekend’s double race winner: “I had a great first lap and I was hoping to build a good lead, but when the gap got under a second the tow was big down the straights. I worked out where DeFrancesco was quicker and where I was quicker and used that to my advantage.

“It was a great race and it’s been a great weekend for us. The team have done a fantastic job and thank you to everyone who has been here this weekend. All the marshals and everyone who has given their spare time to make it possible for us to go racing. A massive thanks to everyone at JHR and Amigos.”

Carlin’s Devlin DeFrancesco and Fewtrell were in close pursuit of Fielding throughout with TRS Arden’s Red Bull Junior star Luis Leeds getting in on the act too, lapping quicker than anyone else for a large part of the race in fourth.

Explained Leeds: “We had a lot of good pace. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me for the rest of this year to come out on top, but I’m looking forward to the last four race weekends and I will be working as hard as I can to win this championship.

“I don’t expect anything to come easy. It’s a great championship because all the drivers in it are so good. It’s what makes it tough, but it’s also what makes it one of the best championships in the world.”

DeFrancesco did well to leap past team-mate Fewtrell at the start, his second place making him the only driver to finish on the podium in all three races this weekend.

Commented DeFrancesco: “We had a good pace in the race, just not in the right places. We were all over Sennan in sector two in the tight and twisty bits, but there were a few other places where he was a bit better than me.

“I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year though. I think we did the maximum we could this weekend even though we didn’t get the win. I have made a massive gain in the championship.”

It was also a welcome return to the podium for Fewtrell, who endured a difficult Saturday, but bounced back brilliantly ensuring that he is only four points off the championship lead.

Added Fewtrell: “I think this podium softens the blow following the first race. I didn’t get a great start so Devlin got me off the line and then we just stayed in formation. I think the pace was fine and I’m looking forward to Knockhill now to get some better results. There is still a long way to go.”

Fastest lap of the race was snatched away from Leeds by fifth place man Petru Florescu on the penultimate lap. Championship leader Florescu went into the race seeking a strong points finish to ensure he left Norfolk at the top of the standings and he duly delivered.

Said the Romanian: “It was a good race. I managed to gain three positions and do the fastest lap on old tyres. I’m really happy to leave this weekend back in the lead of the championship. I think if qualifying had gone better we could have fought for more wins.”

Nicolai Kjaergaard made it a clean sweep of Rookie Class wins courtesy of an assured drive to sixth for Fortec Motorsports. The Dane has been a revelation following the summer break and has sent a message that he’s force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the season.

“I’m really happy,” said Kjaergaard. “I tried to get a good start off the line and be consistent and we did that. I gained three positions so it was a good race. I am confident behind the wheel. I have had consistency in my races without many mistakes and that’s how I can keep my positions and also gain some. I hope to carry on this good form at Knockhill.”

Fellow Dane Patrik Matthiesen has also enjoyed the best weekend of his season so far, finally achieving his target of finishing the points in all three races. A top ten finish a just reward for a driver who has been tireless in efforts to improve his performance and work his way up the grid with JTR.

Said 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and JTR team owner Nick Tandy: “It’s the best weekend we’ve had all year so far in the championship and the pace in the race looked good. We didn’t qualify well, but Patrik was able to run with the pack in front which shows good progress.

“It’s nice to be scoring points and getting in the top ten. We don’t want to be hanging out at the back. As long as we see improvement and we are going in the right direction we can be positive. If we keep going in this direction we will be knocking on the door of podiums.”

Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard endured a far from ideal Saturday, but put in a battling drive to climb four places and finish seventh.

Stated Goddard: “It was an interesting race. The start was good. I managed to get past a few people, but I would have liked to have got a few more. Seventh is not too bad points wise, especially after yesterday. That’s a positive, but as a race driver you always want to be higher up.

“It’s a bit annoying qualifying went the way it did because it would have helped being further up the grid. At Knockhill I think we will be on the pace and hopefully we can get some top results like we did at Croft.”

TRS Arden’s rookie double act of Ayrton Simmons and Jack Martin put in strong performances to finish inside the top ten and fulfil the promising pace they had shown in testing on Friday.

Said Simmons: “We finished in the points and it’s been a good result after yesterday. I’m really happy with the team effort in recent weeks. I want to say thanks to Arden for giving me such a great car over the weekend and I’m sure we will be even stronger at Knockhill. If we can get a good qualifying there we can do really well and I’m pretty sure we will arrive with good pace in the car.”

Added Martin: “It’s good to be back on the Rookie podium. It’s nice to end on a high after a frustrating weekend and recover some points in the Rookie class standings. I had really good pace on Friday and I think what the team have done over the summer break has been really good.”

Team-mate Rafael Martins was extremely unlucky to finish just outside the points and will look to feature at the sharp end in two weeks’ time at Knockhill.

The same can be said of JHR’s Billy Monger and Jack Butel who had an entertaining battle for 12th after Monger unfortunately fell back through the order having taken evasive action to avoid a heavy braking Leeds and Pull. His lightning reactions coming in handy, but scant consolation for a driver who has had the pace to be fighting for the podium.

“We’ve been fast enough to be on the podium battle in every race, but things haven’t turned out great for us this weekend. Hopefully we can bounce back and show our true pace.

“My sponsors Metro deconstruction, Reigate Environmental Services, as well as Baylis and Harding and Barnado’s children’s charity which I’m an ambassador for have been brilliant in supporting me.”

Newcomers Marinescu (Richardson Racing) and Mohnhaupt (Falcon Motorsport) finished their weekends with further solid performances in their Ford EcoBoost-powered racers.

Said Marinescu: “Our lap times were even quicker today so that was good. I’m really positive I can do better in the next races. It’s been really fun and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Added Mohnhaupt: “It was a good race. We have improved a lot. I have learned so much with the help of the Falcon Motorsport team and I think Knockhill will be better. The highlight has been seeing my lap times get better and better.”

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 18 Snetterton 31 July 2016
8 laps / 23.75 miles
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 15m 14.464s
2 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +0.400s
3 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin +1.162s
4 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +1.662s
5 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +4.915s
6 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +11.530s
7 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +11.990s
8 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR / Arden +12.203s
9 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden +12.899s
10 Patrik MATTHIESEN / DEN / JTR +14.059s etc.

Fastest lap Petru Florescu / Carlin 1m 52.690s / 94.84 mph

Rookie Class 1 Kjaergaard, 2 Simmons, 3 Martin, 4 Quinn

Provisional Championship standings
1 Florescu 205, 2 Fewtrell 201, 3 DeFrancesco 197, 4 Fielding 194, 5 Pull 186, 6 Leeds 174, 7 Quinn 122, 8 Goddard 120, 9 Caroline 115, 10 Martins 114 etc.

Rookie Class
1 Quinn 324, 2 J Martin 255, 3 Kjaergaard 238, 4 Simmons 191, 5 R Martin 130

Full results

Flawless Fielding scores superb British F4 win at Snetterton

  • Fielding claims commanding third win of the season for JHR Developments.
  • Carlin achieves its 800th podium thanks to DeFrancesco and Pull.

SNETTERTON 3O JULY, 2016 – Sennan Fielding’s fine form at Snetterton this weekend continued in round 16 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford; the JHR Developments star converting pole position to victory in style.

The race was far from short of drama. Caroline trying to make a move and unfortunately hitting the pit wall.

The safety car was called upon whilst Caroline’s stricken Pirtek Racing liveried Fortec was removed from the pit straight. Fielding wasted no time at the restart. The experienced driver left the field trailing in his wake as the safety car peeled into the pits.

However, Fielding’s breakaway was shortlived as the safety car almost immediately made another appearance following Fewtrell going off.

By the time the safety car returned to the pits once more there were only several laps remaining. Fielding was calm and composed out front however, keeping his Carlin pursuers Devlin DeFrancesco and James Pull at bay until the chequered flag.

Said the race winner: “It was a great restart. The second one was a little bit more difficult because the guys behind knew what I would likely do so I tried to mix it up a little bit. It was a fun race. It was good to get the first win of the weekend and we need to carry this on.

“I felt very comfortable out there. Credit to the team, they’ve made the car amazing so huge thanks to them. I think in the second half of the season we are really going to show what we can do and get our championship back on track.”

DeFrancesco and Pull’s podiums had added significance for Carlin as they secured its 800th podium since the team’s inception. A phenemonal achievement for a team that has been pivotal to careers of so many of motorsport’s leading lights, a number of whom having driven in British F4.

Commented DeFrancesco: “Sennan has been really quick all weekend. He’s really found his rhythm around here. We really struggled in FP1 and FP2 yesterday so we’ve made a great comeback as a team. We were cathching Sennan at some points of the race. There are some things we need to analyse for race two and three.

“It’s amazing to get 800 podiums for Carlin. They are such a great team and a major name in motorsport which makes me very proud to race from them.”

Added Pull: “It was a shame there were so many safety cars. I was just trying to pick up as many points as I could so third place is good. I cannot complain. 800 podiums for Carlin now so that’s a great milestone to achieve and hopefully we can do even better in the next races.”

Zane Goddard was a standout performer at the start, seizing the initiaitive jumping from tenth to sixth on the opening lap, and later working his way up to fourth for Double R Racing.

Nicolai Kjaergaard put in his best performance of the season to finish sixth for Fortec. The Dane has returned from the summer break reinvigorated and after a strong showing in qualifying took no prisioners on his way to a Rookie Class win.

Said Kjaergaard: “I think going away over the summer and coming back has helped me. I have confidence in the car to lean on the tyres in the corners and I can just go for it now. It will be difficult to catch Alex [Quinn] in the Rookie Class. He’s a really good driver, but I will do my best.”

Team-mate Alex Quinn had it all to do starting last after a frustrating qualifying and he put in a determined drive to finish ninth. The highlight of his race coming in the final two laps. He opportunistically snuck past Simmons as the TRS Arden racer tried to pass Matthiesen, and then proceeded to bravely pass Matthiesen on the outside of Riches who held off Simmons for tenth.

Stated Quinn: “It was a fun race. It was really good battling, but obviously I would prefer to be doing that at the front. I think it’s shown that we have really good place coming from 19th to ninth so I’m happy with this. Hopefully we can move up a bit more in the next race starting from a bit higher up. We will try to take as many opportunites as we can.”

Ahead of Quinn finsihed Petru Florescu and Rafael Martins in seventh and eighth respectively. The latter earning the reverse grid pole in the process and the former taking valubale points out of Fewtrell’s championship lead.

Newcomers Marinescu (Richardson Racing) and Mohnhaupt (Falcon Motorsport) rounded out the finishing classification, both drivers putting on an entertaining battle and seperated by just 4 tenths of a second as they crossed the line.

Lights go out on round 17 of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at 1715 this afternoon. TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins will be hoping take full advantage of pole to claim his second win of the season.

F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford

Provisional results Round 16 Snetterton 30 July 2016
9 laps / 26.72 miles
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 21m 4.243s
2 Devlin DEFRANCESCO / CDN / Carlin +0.532s
3 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +1.707s
4 Zane GODDARD / AUS / Double R +2.778s
5 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +3.116s
6 Nicolai KJAERGAARD / DEN / Fortec +4.382s
7 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +4.836s
8 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +5.432s
9 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +9.808s
10 Patrik MATTHIESEN / DEN / JTR +10.428s etc.

Fastest lap James Pull / Carlin 1m 52.668s / 94.86 mph

Rookie class 1 Kjaergaard, 2 Quinn, 3 Simmons, 4 Martin

Grid for round 17 Martins – Florescu – Kjaergaard – Leeds – Goddard – Pull – DeFrancesco – Fielding – Quinn – Matthiesen

Full results

Fielding inherits the win in controversial Croft opener

  • Lando Norris and Dan Ticktum in collision at final corner
  • Fielding awarded victory after Ticktum excluded from results
  • First Rookie class win for Josh Smith

CROFT 27 JUNE, 2015 – A last-corner clash brought a dramatic end to the first MSA Formula race of the Croft weekend, with Carlin’s Lando Norris and Fortec’s Dan Ticktum colliding as they disputed the lead. Within sight of the chequered flag, victory and the championship lead, race-long leader Lando Norris was sidelined from the event, with Ticktum able to continue after their contact to cross the line first.

Norris, who had shown all his rivals a clean pair of heels in qualifying by topping the time sheets for the second meeting in succession, had made a good start from the pole and quickly established a lead over his rival which he looked set to maintain to the line.

Their collision also affected the battle for the final podium place: Sennan Fielding (JHR) had held third spot from the outset after a lightning start from fifth on grid and was pursued for the duration of the race by the TRS Arden car of Ricky Collard. Collard, suffering understeer throughout, had no answer for Fielding’s pace, but when they arrived at the hairpin to find Norris’s stricken car, Fielding opted to go around the outside of the debris while Collard opted for an inside line, gaining him track position. Thus the order at the finish line was Ticktum, Collard, Fielding.

Extensive post-race investigations by the race stewards decided that Ticktum had caused an avoidable collision, and excluded him from the results. Further, they ruled that Collard had passed Fielding under yellow warning flags, albeit unintentionally, and reversed their positions. Once the dust had settled it was therefore Sennan Fielding who was awarded the win, his second of the season for JHR – with Collard second. This result was upheld a month later following an unsuccessful appeal by Ticktum to the Motor Sports Council National Court.

Collard said: “I made a terrible start. It probably looked spectacular because I left some big black lines, but it wasn’t very quick. I’m a bit frustrated about that. I knew that the race would come to us and I kept chipping away and then we came upon Lando’s car in the middle of the track.”

The battle for the lower positions was less controversial. Double R’s Tarun Reddy slotted ahead of Carlin man Petru Florescu for fifth on the second lap and held station to the end for what became third and his maiden podium finish. Florescu retired to the pits mid-race with a loose rear wheel, promoting Louise Richardson to fourth – her best result of the season so far and a reward for the hard work of the Richardson Racing team since the Oulton Park rounds.

Matheus Leist was next up for Double R, ahead of Carlin’s Colton Herta, with Josh Smith enjoying his best run of the year to finish seventh overall, and therefore with Ticktum’s exclusion a maiden victory in the Rookie class, thanks to passing the TRS Arden car of Sandy Mitchell on the final lap. “It was a good race,” said Josh. “It’s all down to good preparation. We’ve worked hard and put in a big effort this weekend. We’re going forwards now.” Enaam Ahmed completed the top nine for TRS Arden, ahead of JTR team-mates Dan Baybutt, James Pull and Ameya Vaidyanathan.

Further last-lap drama was provided by Darius Karbaley (Falcon) and Jack Butel (JHR Developments), who collided at the Complex; both retired.

Provisional results Round 13 Croft 27 June 2015 amended
15 laps / 31.87 miles
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 20m 52.980s / 91.58mph
2 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden +0.838s
3 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R 20m +1.823s
4 Louise RICHARDSON / GBR / Richardson +4.638
5 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R +7.415s
6 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +8.641s
7 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec +9.155s
8 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden +10.827s
9 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden +12.813s
10 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +13.454s etc

Fastest lap Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 1m 22.274s / 92.98mph Est Rec

Rookie class 1 Smith, 2 Mitchell, 3 Ahmed, 4 Baybutt, 5 Ameya VAIDYANATHAN / IND / JTR, 6 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / SWB

Provisional championship standings
1 Collard 193 points; 2 Norris 174; 3 Daniel Ticktum 149; 4 Leist 144; 5 Fielding 112; 6 Mitchell 93 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 238; 2 Baybutt 177; 3 Mitchell 169; 4 Martins 148 etc

Full results

Fielding leads the MSA Formula pack at Brands Hatch

  • Sennan Fielding on top by a whisker from Lando Norris in first official tests
  • Crash disrupts second session as 20 Ford EcoBoost-powered cars make their competitive debut

BRANDS HATCH 3 April, 2015 – Sennan Fielding and Lando Norris shared the honours today in the opening skirmishes of the first-ever MSA Formula race weekend. Fifteen-year-old Norris topped the timesheets for Carlin in the first of the day’s sessions, with JHR Developments driver Fielding, 19, quickest in the drier-but-briefer second session.

Fielding’s Ford EcoBoost-powered car set the best time 11 laps into the afternoon session, moments before red flags brought it to a premature halt after a crash blocked the circuit. The resulting delay while the track was cleared deprived any of Sennan’s 19 rivals from a chance to respond, but the Chesterfield racer was happy that his pace was representative: “I’m pleased with that; the car felt really good so I’m feeling confident… We had a little bracket break at the front end which caused a little bit of understeer, so I feel that we can definitely improve tomorrow. There’s more time to come.”

Fielding was ninth fastest in the morning session on fresh and unprepared slick tyres; he found his Hankooks perfectly run-in for the start of session two.

Norris was quick in both sessions, edging Fortec’s Dan Ticktum off the top in the closing seconds of session one and then running to within four-hundredths of a second of Fielding in the afternoon test. Lando was denied the chance to beat Sennan by a collision between the cars of Alexandra Marinescu (Falcon) and Tarun Reddy (Double R); they made contact at Paddock Hill Bend after 15-year-old Marinescu spun. Neither driver was hurt in the incident but Alexandra’s car was too badly damaged to play any further part in the weekend.

Reddy’s Double R team-mate Matheus Leist was third fastest overall, the Brazilian just three-thousandths shy of Norris’s best lap. Less than eight-tenths of a second covered the top 11, with Formula Ford frontrunner Ricky Collard fourth overall for Arden, just ahead of Carlin’s Colton Herta and the leading rookie, Sandy Mitchell (Arden).

Ticktum, second quickest to Norris in the morning, ended the second session eighth but was far from disheartened: “To start off it was wet but drying quite quickly, and we were fast, which was encouraging because previously we weren’t quite on the pace in the wet. Now we’re fine… As it dried out the pace was good, too. I could have gone a little quicker I think but I’m feeling confident as we head towards the first race.” To underline his confidence, Daniel was quickest by nearly a quarter-second in the wet third and final test session.

The opening round of MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost is tomorrow afternoon at Brands Hatch, with two further races scheduled for Easter Sunday.

MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost
Pre-race testing times (am/pm) Brands Hatch 3 April 2015
1 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR 51.652s / 46.742 / 55.039
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 50.624s / 46.782 / 54.543
3 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 51.349s / 46.785 / 55.177
4 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 51.332s / 46.804 / 54.700
5 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin 51.308s / 46.812 / 54.757
6 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden 52.347s / 46.946 / 56.858
7 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R 52.623s / 47.179 / no time
8 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 50.665s / 47.321 / 54.300
9 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden 51.327s / 47.382 / 56.247
10 James PULL / GBR / JTR 52.203s / 47.450 / 55.592s

Full times

Brands Hatch timings

Saturday 4 April
0930 Qualifying; 1445 Race 1
Sunday 5 April
1055 Race 2; 1755 Race 3

On TV ITV4 & itv.com/btcc
Sunday 1255

Sennan Fielding joins Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula series

  • McLaren Autosport Award finalist Sennan Fielding signed by top team JHR Developments

Sennan Fielding25 February, 2015 – McLaren Autosport Award finalist Sennan Fielding is to switch to Ford turbo power for the coming season. The 19-year-old will race with the JHR Developments team at the wheel of one of its EcoBoost-engined MSA Formula cars.

The Dronfield-based team will run two cars in the Ford-backed championship, and 19-year-old Fielding, from Chesterfield, is the first of its drivers to be confirmed. Sennan raced for the squad in 2012, his maiden season car racing, when he netted runner-up spot in the Ginetta Junior Championship.

Says Fielding: “We were evaluating a few different avenues for this year to move my career forward, and while I had options in GT racing too, I was keen to remain in single-seaters and to get some more experience under my belt. When JHR approached us about racing in MSA Formula, it was immediately of interest because it’s a new championship with a lot of potential and the right people behind it. The BTCC support package is clearly the place to be as a young British driver; it’s a superb shop window and offers unrivalled exposure, with more than 20 million people tuning in live on ITV4 – and that in turn makes it easier to attract sponsors.”

JHR team principal Steven Hunter added: “I’m absolutely delighted to have Sennan back with us at JHR. We enjoyed a lot of success together in 2012, and watched him grow and progress in single-seaters last year – so when the opportunity arose for us to work together again, we were keen to see if we could help Sennan stay in single-seaters in 2015. He is not only an extremely gifted driver but also a great guy out of the car with an impeccable work ethic, and I have no doubt that his experience and ability will play a key role in helping us to develop JHR’s budding single-seater arm.

“MSA Formula is an exciting new championship, and single-seaters are an exciting new challenge for us – and we couldn’t have a better driver on board than Sennan as we target consistently strong results over the 2015 campaign.”

Fielding was honoured as the Racing Steps Foundation MSA Young Driver of the Year in 2013 and last season he competed in the BRDC’s single-seater series, claiming fourth overall with four race wins. Those results led to his selection as one of the six finalists for the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

JHR Developments is one of the most successful teams in junior British motorsport, having claimed eight championship titles since its foundation in 1995 as well as the honour of having been the first team to win a race in every support series on the BTCC bill.

MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost is Britain’s official version of the FIA’s Formula 4 concept and will be the British Touring Car Championship’s single-seater support series, enjoying live TV coverage and bumper raceday spectator attendance. The championship will be decided over 30 races; three at each of the 10 BTCC meetings to be held between April and October.

The motive power for the MSA Formula chassis is the 1.6-litre DI turbocharged EcoBoost – a mainstay of Ford’s performance car range. It is a 160 PS development of the unit which successfully powered Formula Ford in Britain between 2012 and ’14, designed and manufactured by Ford in Britain and supplied at a price to meet the FIA’s mandated price cap.