Like father, like son – Sebastian Priaulx to race with Ford EcoBoost power in 2018 F4 British Championship

25 OCTOBER, 2017 – Sebastian Priaulx, son of triple World Touring Car Champion and Ford GT driver Andy Priaulx MBE, has agreed terms with Arden in a deal to contest the 2018 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost.

The announcement comes just weeks after the curtain fell on a stellar campaign for the 16-year-old. It saw him crowned Ginetta Junior vice-champion with 13 podiums, including seven victories. Four wins out of five races in the space of two meetings a particular highlight, along with an unrivalled tally of eight pole positions.

“It’s a great feeling to have my 2018 plans confirmed,” said a thrilled Priaulx. “We’ve got a very exciting year ahead of us racing with Arden in the F4 British Championship.

“It’s a prestigious series with manufacturer backing from Ford and with my Dad driving for the Ford GT team it’s really cool.

“To make the step up to single-seaters and race in British F4 is a real milestone in my career. It’s always been my aim to live the single-seater dream. Winning in British F4 opens doors and it is the starting point for Formula 1.”

Garry Horner, Arden CEO and team principal, added: “We are delighted to have Seb joining our team at Arden. We have admired his dedication and ability throughout the previous season and are looking forward to a successful year in Formula 4.”

Priaulx began karting aged eight and rapidly became a multiple champion in Cadet, Mini Max and Junior Max classes.

Aged 15 he added a Ginetta Junior Winter Series title to his name. This followed a Ginetta Junior Championship campaign in 2016 which saw him take a victory and two pole positions in his rookie season.

Priaulx will be hoping to emulate FIA British Formula 4 Champions Lando Norris and Jamie Caroline, who both triumphed in Ginetta Juniors before making the step up to the UK’s leading single-seater series.

“2017 was a bit of a strange season with everything that happened with Ginetta and having to switch teams part way through the campaign,” explained Priaulx. “It was all out of my control and I just focused on performing at my best.

“I walked away as vice-champion, my head held high and proud of what I achieved. Now I’m aiming to win the British F4 title.

“Racing in single-seaters is going to be a new challenge for me. There’s a lot to learn. I’m excited for what lies ahead as I work towards my goal of race victories and hopefully a title tilt.

“Having raced in Ginettas, which run alongside British F4 on the TOCA package, I know the tracks on the calendar well and that experience can help me.”

Sebastian’s father Andy has long extolled the importance of drivers gaining single-seater experience and developing an understanding of racing with slicks and wings; targeting British F4 as the series in which his son should make a single-seater debut. The move to British F4 the fruition of several years’ hard work.

“Every driver needs single-seater experience,” said Priaulx. “It’s so important.

“Looking at how British F4 has evolved over the last couple of seasons it’s clearly the place for young drivers to be. The cars look great, the competition is fierce and the TOCA package is really strong.

“A big part of becoming a professional racing driver is working with major brands and Ford is one of those. Ford’s commitment to motor racing gives Seb the chance to achieve great things in his career.

“I also drive for Ford so hopefully together we can win our respective races and championships. We want to take this opportunity to write a very special ‘Priaulx’ chapter in Ford’s history.”

For Sebastian, the target is clear: To secure the most coveted championship in British single-seater racing and the 12 FIA Super Licence points which go with it to propel him towards Formula 1.

At Arden he is well placed to achieve this. The Banbury based outfit head into 2018 after three consecutive years of fighting at the front in British F4. 2017 saw them duke it out for both the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the season finale and amass more podiums and pole positions than any other squad.

“Arden’s facilities are very impressive and all the staff are incredibly professional,” enthused Priaulx.

“When I visited the workshop I could get up close and personal with their Formula 2 cars. As a young driver it’s really inspiring to be able to see the next steps on the FIA single-seater pyramid right in front of you.

“Arden is a team that can take you from British F4 all the way up to Formula 2. They can give you the tools to succeed.”

In addition to drawing on the experience and expertise of the Arden team, Priaulx can rely on the support of sponsor 1st Central Insurance. A key player in the car insurance market, 1st Central have become an integral part of Priaulx’s fledgling career, a fact which is not lost on the Guernseyman.

“1st Central Insurance made it possible for me to race in 2017 and have played a crucial part in getting me on the British F4 grid. I’m over the moon to have them as a sponsor.

“To have the support of such a well-respected company gives me a lot of confidence. I want to keep performing, make them proud and have fun along the way.”

Priaulx and Arden’s F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost campaign will kick off at Brands Hatch on 7/8 April, 2018.

British F4 thrills as part of the next generation at Ford Go Further

  • British F4 shines at Go Further as future of Ford Motor Company unveiled with next generation Fiesta in Cologne, Germany.
  • Sennan Fielding captures the imagination of guests driving British F4 car along with Andy Priaulx and Dirk Müller in Le Mans-winning Ford GT and GT40.

2 DECEMBER, 2016 – The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford took to the spotlight at the unveiling of the future of Ford Motor Company at a special Go Further event in Cologne, Germany which saw the launch of the next generation Fiesta.

British F4’s 1.6 litre turbocharged EcoBoost racer driven by Sennan Fielding, along with the GT40 and Ford GT which won Le Mans in 1966 and 2016 respectively, set hearts racing as part of a procession that roared past thousands of guests and heralded the arrival of the world’s most technologically advanced small car.

It was an exciting moment for the Ford backed championship which uses a Fiesta ST as its safety car, and fitting that the series which has become renowned for developing the next generation of motorsport stars was present at the debut of the next generation of Fiesta.

The magnitude of the event was not lost on 2016’s FIA British Formula 4 vice champion Sennan Fielding. “To be at Go Further is an amazing opportunity,” said the driver who is in the hunt for the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award on the back of a season which saw him claim five race victories for Steven Hunter’s JHR Developments squad.

“I cannot thank everyone at Ford and British F4 for letting me be a part of it; meeting so many people who make up the Ford family and seeing all these fantastic cars.

“The whole event has been incredible. The Ford plant in Cologne is so impressive and to fully immerse myself in the world of Ford has been a remarkable experience.

“Representing British F4 at the launch of the next generation Fiesta in front of the world’s media, as well as the likes of Ford Motor Company’s president and chief executive officer Mark Fields; Jim Farley (vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Roelant de Waard (vice president of marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe) is such an honour.

“Days like today give me added motivation. I want to emulate the amazing careers of drivers like Andy Priaulx and Dirk Müller. What they are achieving with Ford in the GT car is very special and I dream of having a similar opportunity one day.

“Competing in British F4 has given me the perfect platform to do this. The series is on the renowned TOCA package, starring alongside the ever-popular British Touring Car Championship on live television.”

Added Ford GT driver Andy Priaulx MBE: “What has struck me is how engaging the next generation Fiesta launch has been. I think Ford have really tapped into the emotion and excitement of the brand using the race cars to open the show.

“You could feel the passion from the audience when seeing all the people clapping and cheering as the cars were driven past them. That had a real wow factor.

“Sennan has had a great 2016 so I’m really happy that he’s being recognised for his achievements in the F4 British Championship which has had an excellent year too. It’s brilliant to see the staircase of talent that is coming through at Ford which will hopefully work its way into the GT car in the future. British F4 is a fantastic series and I think that it’s right that it is present at events like this.”

Commented Dirk Müller who drove the No. 68 Ford GT to victory at Le Mans in 2016: “It’s a huge event and absolutely amazing to be part of the launch of the next generation Fiesta, driving our race cars like the Ford GT and the British F4 car. I couldn’t stop smiling during the whole procession. On days like this you can see how big, but how close the Ford family is and family is the key word here.

“Motorsport is a tough business and you have to work hard to bring home the trophies. I have Brits like Andy Priaulx and Richard Westbrook as teammates in the GT and Sennan can definitely make it to the top like them.”

Relive the spectacular Go Further event and unveiling of the next generation Fiesta by clicking on the image below.

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Priaulx helps British F4 drivers reach the top step

  • Priaulx inspires British F4 grid with driver coaching session at Snetterton.
  • F1 teams taking keen interest in British F4 and its drivers according to Priaulx.

8 AUGUST, 2016 – Drivers in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford returned from the summer break joined by none other than triple World Touring Car Champion and Ford GT World Endurance Championship star Andy Priaulx MBE at Snetterton.

Aside from a list of motorsport achievements almost as long as Snetterton’s Senna straight, Priaulx has been a coach to a number of drivers who have made it to F1 stardom such as Marcus Ericsson and Bruno Senna; so there was no better person to lead a driver coaching session with the 2016 British F4 cohort.

Priaulx’s masterclass acting as yet another fine example of how British F4 and Ford continues to provide the best learning and developmental opportunities for young motorsport talent.

His session covered a variety of topics; ranging from optimising performance both on and off the track to the importance of leading the team and pulling everyone together around you. All areas which the dedicated team of experts at Priaulx’s iZone Driver Performance facility encourage drivers to focus upon.

“I hope after meeting all the British F4 drivers I have been able to provide an insight into where they will go on to in their careers,” said Priaulx.

“It’s important to realise that Formula 1 teams are looking at British F4. That’s a really good accolade for the series and testament to where it is going.

“British F4 is affordable and offers a high level of competition which is what young drivers need.

“It is a brilliant starting point for youngsters. It’s on the TOCA package which is excellent and it’s a great series to graduate from.

“Drivers in British F4 are in one of the most high profile championships with Ford’s support and a host of major partners [such as Snap-On Business Solutions and Samsung].

“I think a series like British F4 which is supported by a major manufacturer like Ford is invaluable. You can build a relationship with the blue oval and it’s a big brand. There is a staircase of talent forming here at Ford with British F4, the GT programme and NASCAR.”

Priaulx was also keen to emphasise the increasingly important role played by fuel economy in motorsport with Ford’s EcoBoost technology at the forefront: “What we do is all about fuel economy. Optimising performance with good economy. So the more laps we can do on one tank of fuel and the quicker it takes to refill, the quicker we will be at the end of the race.

“The EcoBoost technology is amazing. The power that we are producing from that little V6 engine [in the Ford GT in the WEC and the 1.6 litre turbocharged unit in British F4] combined with the fuel economy and performance of the vehicles is unbelievable.

“Learning about this kind of technology in junior single-seaters with Ford in British F4 is great. Learning how it all works and how to optimise fuel burn is very interesting and as a driver it’s always very good to have a technical understanding of this.”

Priaulx also cast an eye on the future of his son Sebastian who is beginning to work his way up the motorsport ranks; currently making waves in the Ginetta Junior Championship with the JHR Developments team which also competes in the F4 British Championship.

“I would love Seb to join British F4”, said Priaulx. “He’s done really well in such a short space of time. British F4 is an absolute must for him and if I can find a way next year to bring him in I will do. I think he would be really quick. It would be such a great story with my strong relationship with Ford.

“Without wanting to put any pressure on him I think it would be a great opportunity. Every driver needs single-seater experience. It’s so important.”

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford title battle rolls on to Knockhill on 13/14 August as the season draws ever closer to its climax.