DRIVER NEWS: Rockingham rumble for Jack Butel in British F4

Supplied by driver’s PR.

29 AUGUST, 2016 – Jersey driver Jack Butel was back in action in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at Rockingham (27/28 August). Butel returned to racing after missing Knockhill to claim three solid race results with a 12th, 16th and 17th in the fiercely competitive Ford EcoBoost powered series.

Rounds 22, 23 and 24 of the FIA certified series were staged at Rockingham in Northamptonshire. The circuit is one with two characteristics with an ultra-fast, high-speed banked straight leading into a banked curve for turn one. From there a tight and technical infield offers great overtaking opportunities before the cars re-join the American style oval to complete a 1.94 mile lap around the speed-bowl. Drastically changing conditions over the weekend meant Jack and the JHR Developments team struggled to find the optimum set-up for the demanding Corby venue. After a short qualifying session, Jack notched up 17th on the grid for race one.

Lining up ahead of the first race that afternoon, the St Saviour resident was hoping to break back into the points in the torrential rain, a condition the 20-year-old thrives in. As the lights went out, Butel made his trademark start, picking up positions on lap one. Making great progress in the wet conditions, the Yuasa-backed driver had made his way into the top 10 and was challenging for a points paying position by lap seven. Disaster was to strike the Channel Islander as a spin in the wet conditions resulted in damage to his F4 single-seater. Maturely, Butel brought the car into the pits for the team to make repairs but sadly went two laps down as the team carried out their work. Jack re-joined the race to shakedown the car and make sure he was happy for the following days action with 17th the end result at the fall of the flag.

The rain of Saturday had made way for a day of sunshine on Sunday as thousands of spectators took their place in the grandstands while hundreds of thousands tuned into live coverage of the race meeting on ITV4.

The second British F4 contest was going to be a sleeves rolled up affair for Butel as he was to get stuck into the thick of the action. After another good start, the young-gun flew around the 1.94 mile Northampton layout in his Ford EcoBoost powered single-seater picking off places as the race went on. In the closing stages of the race Butel was in a train of cars jostling for position, going wheel-to-wheel – all vying for a lucrative top-ten result.  With the field being so competitive from front to back, Butel revelled in the action and gave full commitment and at the fall of the flag the Jersey-born driver claimed 12th after an action-packed contest, leaving Jack slightly disappointed not to take home more championship points.

The final race of the weekend was to be a quiet affair in comparison to the previous races. With his head held high, Butel couldn’t make the same progress as shown in the previous race in his JHR Developments turbo-charged missile, chalking up 16th as the clock counted down to zero.

Said Butel: “It was good to be in action after missing Knockhill. It was to be another mixed weekend as we had a few flashes of speed.

“I love the wet normally and I was running well – fighting in the top 10. Coming out of Gracelands corner I made a mistake as I hit the white line on the edge of the track, which is like ice when wet and the car spun and hit the wall. I managed to get it back and the team did a great job for me to get the car back out and shake it down for the rest of the weekend.

“Race two was the best of the weekend as we were flying despite technical problems. We pressed on as much as we could and 12th was a good result but I felt we could have been in the top 10 scoring points.

“I am looking forward to Silverstone as we recorded sixth there last year. This year I am fitter and more experienced and know the car a lot better so I am going to push as hard as I can to get some points next time out.”

The Northamptonshire double-header will conclude next time out at Silverstone for rounds 25, 26 and 27 where Jack Butel will be back in British F4 action on September 17/18. The JHR Developments driver will once again look to take another top-ten at the home of British motorsport.

DRIVER NEWS: Jack Butel makes progress at sunny Snetterton

Supplied by driver’s PR.

The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford burst back into life at sunny Snetterton on 30/31 July. Jersey driver Jack Butel along with his team – JHR Developments had found a turn of speed over the six-week break with the Yuasa-backed driver claiming two 13th, place finishes and a 14th in the fiercely competitive one-make single-seater series.

The 2.97-mile, Snetterton 300 layout played host to rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the Ford EcoBoost powered series and with summer sunshine, this attracted a sizeable crowd over the two-day race weekend.

20 year-old Butel was eager to turn his season around in the second half of the year and right from the off he showed his intent with one of his best qualifying results to date, just outside the top-ten in 12th. The Channel Islander has notoriously struggled with qualifying in the past and was buoyant after his improvement.

On the Saturday afternoon, Jack lined up for the first of his three races. A trademark fast-start from the St Saviour resident put him into the mix from the off. As the race settled down, Butel slipped back to a disappointing 14th at the fall of the flag, but due to the competitive nature of the serious, Jack was only 13 seconds behind the overall winner in the long train of cars.

The second race of the weekend was to be the final race of the Saturday track action. It was to be a rollercoaster for Jack on the lap charts. Starting from 16th, the JHR Developments driver launched off the line to gain a place from the off. In the thick of the action, Butel got shuffled to the back of the pack and had to regroup. On lap six, the single-seater exponent began his charge, picking up positions lap after lap as his rivals faulted. As the clock hit zero, the Jerseyman just missed out on a points paying position with 13th on the results sheet.

The British F4 series supports the hugely popular British Touring Car Championship and the final contest of the weekend was to be held in front of a packed crowd and hundreds of thousands more in homes across the country watching live coverage on ITV4. The Hankook-shod driver had a largely uneventful race and enjoyed a long battle with JHR teammate Billy Monger with Butel taking another 13th at the end of the weekend.

Reflected Butel: “We had good pace in qualifying and everything clicked –I just got my head down and went for it. There was a red flag towards the end of the session which effected our plans as I think we could have snatched a top ten.

“Our target as always is the top ten and we were flying in the second race of the weekend. Somebody dropped a lot of oil on track and I couldn’t avoid it, which sent me off onto the grass. I got back on and got the bit between my teeth, but couldn’t quite make up enough places for some points today.”

Butel and F4 British Championship star at British Grand Prix

14 JULY, 2016 – The F4 British Championship once again played a starring role alongside Formula 1; on this occasion during the British Grand Prix weekend at Silverstone. JHR Developments driver Jack Butel’s Ford EcoBoost-powered racer was on display at the Silverstone Racing Club and unsurprisingly grabbed plenty of attention.

Commented Mike Norton manager of Ford Performance technical, sporting and programmes: “Having the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford car showcased at the British Grand Prix weekend further reinforces the F4 British Championship as the first step to Formula 1 on the FIA single-seater pyramid.

“Ford have supported young motorsport talent for almost 50 years and it has been great for F1 fans to get up close and personal with the series where the next stars of the pinnacle of the sport are coming from.”

Reflected Jack Butel’s father Derek Butel: “We had an excellent response at Silverstone. People loved Jack’s British F4 car. It was amazing to see how many people know about Jack and are following him in the series.

“At times you couldn’t even see the car because so many people were stood around it. From Saturday morning until Sunday night people were flocking to see the car.

“Silverstone Racing Club were over the moon to have Jack’s car on display and we’ve got their full support. Their logo will be on the nosecone for the remainder of the season.

“Nigel Mansell, Derek Warwick and Jerseyman James Walker were also really pleased for Jack’s car to be there. They are supporting Jack as much as they can in terms of advice. They’re really happy with what he is doing and they are excited to see where he is going to go next.”

It was undoubtedly a happy return to Silverstone for the Jack Butel camp. The circuit proving a happy hunting ground for the Jersey racer who claimed a brace of strong points scoring finishes in his maiden Ford EcoBoost-powered season last year.

Added Derek Butel: “Jack has gone really well at Silverstone in the past. It’s one of his best tracks. He’s been doing a lot of training during the summer break on the beaches of Jersey and has got some testing lined up to help him further up his game for the rest of the year.”

Despite it being the traditional summer break in the F4 British Championship calendar, Butel’s JHR Developments prepared racer has hardly stood still. In the run up to the British Grand Prix the car was on display at Longueville Manor and Jersey’s town centre in aid of Jersey Teenage Cancer Trust. It then had pride of place during a promotional night for customers of one of Butel’s sponsors Express Auto Parts.

Jack Butel and the rest of the F4 British Championship field will hit the track at Snetterton on 30/31 July, when the title battle will go up another gear as the UK’s leading junior single-seater series embarks upon the second half of its campaign.

DRIVER NEWS: Jack Butel battles the elements at Croft in British F4

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20 JUNE, 2016 – Croft Circuit in Yorkshire saw Jersey driver Jack Butel battle the elements in rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the British Formula 4 Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at the weekend. It marked a year with JHR Developments and Jack’s fortunes were not to be on his side as he was taken out in the first race of the weekend whilst running comfortably in the top 10. Jack bounced back and netted two solid finishes with 12th and 16th placed finishes.

The FIA certified series sees some of the best young drivers in the world go wheel-to-wheel in identical single-seaters and is seen as a stepping stone to the higher echelons of motorsport. The priority at Croft for Butel was to be back in the pack, secure race finishes, gain plenty of mileage and improve upon his Oulton Park weekend.

In Practice and Qualifying, Jack felt comfortable right from the off and was able to establish a good base set-up for the weekend. 15th in qualifying was a solid start in his Yuasa-backed machine.

The St Saviour resident was optimistic ahead of the first race of the weekend after a strong showing around the North Yorkshire venue a year ago. After making a trademark good start, Butel pounded around the 2.1 mile Darlington circuit gaining places lap after lap. Nestled in the top 10 and on for championship points, Jack was taken out of the race by another driver in a racing incident. Unable to restart, Jack had to take a disappointing retirement. Ever the optimist the Channel Islander knew he had made substantial progress but had to do it from the back of the grid.

Croft circuit was a former RAF base in the Second World War and in 2016 Jack Butel was looking to fly on the main race day on Sunday.  The challenging layout was a favourite for the Jerseyman as the range of fast flowing corners and the slowest hairpin bend in the country offered a real challenge to the single-seater exponent. A large crowd trackside and a quarter of a million people watching live coverage on ITV4 where treated to some fantastic racing entertainment.

In the first race on the Sunday starting from the back, Jack propelled his Ford Eco-Boost powered rocket into the race picking up places as drivers faulted around him. The 20-year-old found himself in the top 10 once again before a safety car was deployed as marshals cleared debris and stranded cars from around the circuit. When the race resumed, Butel suffered front wing damage, wounding the car in the process. Jack tried to press on, but the damage made the car difficult to drive, the JHR team brought the young-gun into the pits to change the nose cone. At the fall of the flag, Butel took his turbo-charged missile to 12th place overall.

Heavy rain descended upon Croft for the final race of the weekend. Spray and visibility made it difficult for Butel to make progress as he wanted to bring the car home in one piece ahead of the six-week mid-season break. It was a momentous effort as he gained in confidence lap after lap in the challenging conditions. As the clock hit zero, the Jersey-based driver notched up another solid 16th in the final race of the weekend.

“I was massively disappointed after Oulton Park. My arm was still giving me problems and I just didn’t have the car around me,” explained Jack Butel.

“Croft is a favourite of mine and a good test before the race weekend put me at ease ahead of the races. It just wasn’t to be our weekend however despite having good pace. It was very gutting to be taken out in race one as we were going so well in the top 10 and that put us on the back foot for the rest of the weekend.

“Two race finishes helped me get my confidence back. Another top 10 was denied with the front wing being damaged but the team did a good job to get me back out to complete the race. And the third race, well that was the worst conditions I have ever raced in. It was very greasy and I couldn’t see a thing –  giving me no confidence to push on at all.

“We must leave the weekend behind and look ahead to the second half. We had a good run in the second half of the season last time and I think we will again this year. During the summer break we plan to squeeze in a test or two to get the car dialed in ahead of Snetterton in July and push even harder to get to the front.”

The next stop on the British F4 Championship calendar after the summer break will be Snetterton in Norfolk on 30/31 July. Jack Butel and JHR Developments now look forward to the remainder of the year as they target further points in the second half of the season.

DRIVER NEWS: Challenging weekend for Butel at Oulton Park

Supplied by driver’s PR

5 JUNE, 2016 – Jersey driver Jack Butel was back in action in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford at Oulton Park last weekend (4/5 June). Butel focused upon securing race finishes and experience as he continued his British F4 education. He left the picturesque Oulton Park circuit with three solid results–netting 17th, 13th and 14th after a challenging weekend of racing.

Last time out at Thruxton, Butel showed podium potential as he bagged further points and challenged for victory in the second race of the weekend before a racing incident took Butel out of contention. In the process Jack suffered a hand injury, which the Channel Islander hadn’t been able to shake off heading to Oulton Park.

From the fastest circuit in the country to one of the most picturesque – the FIA certified F4 British Championship powered by Ford, rolled into leafy, rural Oulton Park in Cheshire. The 20-year-old and his JHR team-mates all struggled with set-up difficulties in the short qualifying session on Saturday morning, finishing towards the back of the grid for the three races that weekend.

With the field being so competitive from front to back it was going to be a struggle for the former De La Salle student to make substantial progress. Undeterred, however, the St Saviour resident would give full commitment despite his injury and lack of experience around the Cheshire venue.  In the opening race of the weekend, the undulating layout was tough on Butel in his JHR Developments car. Plugging away he made his way up to 17th at the fall of the flag with the tight chicanes and hairpins offering a real challenge for Jack.

The Championship powered by Ford Eco-Boost would see two races on the Sunday for the turbo-charged missiles and for Jack it was all about regaining the confidence as he looked to make progress in the park. The British F4 series supports the popular Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship and following the tin-top races the single-seater exponents were to shine in front of over 40,000 spectators filling the circuit banks with hundreds of thousands watching live coverage on ITV4.

The first race on Sunday would see an improvement in pace from the Yuasa Battery-backed driver. Jack launched his single-seater off the line with great effect as he picked off competitors in the opening handful of laps. An incident in front of Butel held him up, taking him out of the fight for championship points. Avoiding the incident, he regained his rhythm and speed, lap after lap Butel began to rein in the pack. Butel was on the cusp of the points paying positions, finishing 13th as the flag fell.

The grid for the final race was taken on the second best time in qualifying which meant Jack’s weekend progress had to be started all over from the rear of the grid. Wanting to regain his Thruxton form, Jack launched into the final race of the weekend looking for further mileage in his JHR prepared machine. With races so short, Butel had limited time to make a dent into the fast and furious pack.
As he sped around the 2.26 mile ribbon of tarmac, settled on the Cheshire hillside he carved his way towards the top 15. It was a momentous effort despite his injury– setting respectable lap times in the scorching sunshine. As the clock hit zero Butel notched up 14th in the final race of the weekend.

“It wasn’t our best weekend,” explained Butel. “After Thruxton where we had podium pace, coming here [Oulton Park] we thought we could do the same. It was a combination of my injury and set-up problems that left us off the pace and it never clicked all weekend.

“We tested at Croft last week and we are quite happy that we have a good car under us. We are aiming to be back in the top 10 and take some points away from the weekend in two weeks time. I am drawing a line under this weekend and looking forward to racing again. Croft is a great circuit, it suits my style and it’s awesome to drive in a single-seater, so I am going in with our head held high for a good weekend.”
 

The next stop on the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford calendar is Croft Circuit in Yorkshire as the force heads north on 18/19 June. Jack Butel and JHR Developments now look to be back fighting in the top 10 once again.

DRIVER NEWS: Podium potential for Jack Butel at Thruxton in British F4

Supplied by driver’s PR

THRUXTON 08 MAY, 2016 – Jersey driver Jack Butel almost took his first podium position at Thruxton last weekend (7/8 May) in the second race of the weekend. Butel was running in the podium seats before a racing incident denied Jack of a career best finish. The British F4 driver has had one of his best weekends to date taking seventh overall in race one to add more points to his championship tally and to round out the weekend Butel overcame injury to gain more mileage around Britain’s fastest race circuit with 18th overall.

In Qualifying under the scorching summer sunshine, Butel instantly dialled himself into the Hampshire venue by putting his JHR Developments prepared single-seater on the cusp of the top-ten in 12th position.

The opening race of the weekend took place on Saturday afternoon around the former aerodrome. The 20-year-old made one of his trademark good starts to instantly put himself into the top-ten mix.  Pounding around the 2.35-mile circuit at speeds north of 120mph, Butel went about climbing the order at his ‘home circuit’. Getting stuck into the thick of the action the Yuasa-backed driver worked his way past several rivals to claim a fine seventh overall at the fall of the flag to add further points to his championship tally.

With Jack finishing seventh, the first seven cars got reversed for the second contest of the weekend resulting in Butel starting on pole for the first time in the Ford EcoBoost powered series.

Sunday morning saw the temperature sore and the pressure increase on the young shoulders of the St Saviour resident. In front of thousands of race goers lining the banks of Thruxton and hundreds of thousands watching live on ITV4, Jack flew the flag for Jersey ahead of Liberation Day as he took to his starting slot with a clear road ahead of him. As the lights went out, Jack once again made a rocket-like start, leading into the first complex of corners.

In his resplendent red and white Yuasa liveried single seater, Butel immediately had to get his elbows out and fight for his position as his more experienced rivals began to gang-up on the Jerseyman. Briefly dropping down to fifth, Butel got back into the hunt and went three abreast into the final complex – braking as late as he dared Jack made a position but damaged his front wing in the process.  In and amongst the chaos a safety car was thrown as marshals resolved other incidents.

When the safety car peeled back into the pitlane, the JHR driver went on another charge with just nine minutes left on the clock. Jack had a good run through the final long straight and had passed third placed Devlin Defrancesco coming into the final chicane –going around the outside of the Carlin driver. As the corner tightened both drivers collided, damaging Jack’s car, which sent the Channel Islander into a disappointing retired.

Butel’s pace had made many sit-up and take note including ITV4 commentators Phil Glew and Richard John Neil who said Butel had done a good job as his pace was fantastic and it was good to see him running at the front of the field.

Dusting himself off and with a rebuilt car, Butel went into the final race to try and gain more mileage, experience and to shake the car down after an incident in the previous race. Jack was nursing an arm injury for the entire 20-minute race and whilst in agonising pain wrestled the FIA-certified single-seater around Britain’s most southerly circuit – crossing the line in 18th as the clock hit zero.

As the bumper crowd filtered out of the Thruxton speed bowl circuit, Jack reflected on his fast and furious weekend:

“Our weekend went really well as we had the pace from the off. We just need to find a bit more for qualifying as our race pace was a match for anyone,” enthused Butel.

“There are no words to describe what it meant to sit on pole. It was awesome to run at the front and I felt more and more comfortable as the race went on. I would love to be there more often and with this experience I know I can challenge for a podium again this season.

“I would like to thank all my sponsors and the whole team at JHR Developments for getting my car back into one piece for the final race. At one point there were seven team members working on the car, they are a phenomenal team. I was in so much pain for the last race but all I wanted to do was to get to the finish as a thank you for their hard work.

“I have a spring in my step, now that I know I can fight at the front. We want to do our best at Oulton Park and bring home more points. I have had limited testing there but points have to be the target every weekend and I will give it my all to achieve more once again.”

Jack Butel will return to action on the 4/5 June at Oulton Park in Cheshire.

DRIVER NEWS: Promising points for Jack Butel at Donington Park

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DRIVER NEWS 17 APRIL, 2016 – Jersey driver Jack Butel took another step forward in the second round of the highly competitive Ford British F4 Championship at Donington Park last weekend (16/17 April). Jack collected his first championship points in his Yuasa Battery backed machine in the second race of the weekend with a fine seventh overall after an incident filled affair. In the first race, Butel sadly retired but bounced back to take the points in the second and in the final contest at the Leicestershire venue the Channel Islander took a solid 12th. More importantly Butel furthered his education, as he got closer to the front running pace in a variety of challenging weather conditions throughout the weekend.

On the Thursday before the race meeting the 20-year-old undertook two free practice sessions to reacclimatise himself with the iconic Donington Park.  With rain in the first and sunshine in the second, both Jack and his team, JHR Developments where prepared for all eventualities and lapped the circuit just under a second away from the front running pace.

In the first race of the weekend for the FIA certified single-seaters, Butel suffered a mechanical failure resulting in him retiring on the opening lap of the race. Many drivers would have let that result dictate the rest of the race meeting but Jack held his head high and was as motivated as ever to salvage his weekend.

A bumper crowd on Sunday morning witnessed the Channel Islander drive one of the best races of his career. Butel faced a momentous task in his Ford EcoBoost powered single-seater as he started from the back of the grid after the retirement in race one. Making one of his impressive trademark starts, Butel had the bit between his teeth as he set off into the 20-minute race. As the field powered into the first corner, the St Saviour resident took a tight line and picked off several drivers while a few more took to the gravel on the outside of the corner. Just a few minutes later a safety car was deployed bunching the pack up. Once the incidents had been cleared the race resumed with just seven and a half minutes left on the clock.  Butel was on the cusp of the top-ten and his progress was set to continue.

Under the spotlights of the ITV4 cameras Jack shone in his Yuasa Battery F4 car and he performed one of the best maneuvers of the race. The youngster was at the back of a gaggle of cars and held onto their coat tails coming out of the final chicane as they crossed the start/finish straight. Easing his car to the outside for the first corner, Butel went around the outside of several rivals through Redgate, the fast right hander and had sealed the deal as the cars descended down the sweeping Craner Curves.  Now buried into the points, Butel ticked off the laps and picked up further positions as others faulted. As Jack crossed the line he took a fine seventh overall – claiming his first points to kick start his 2016 season.

In the final race of the day, the former De La Salle student flew out of the blocks once again to quickly carve his way through the pack, as others suffered misfortunes. Once into the race, Butel settled down, pounding around the 1.96 mile venue in the turbocharged Ford EcoBoost powered single seater on the cusp of the top ten. Unfortunately Jack couldn’t progress as much as he had hoped – settling for 12th at the fall of the flag.
 
Quotes from the weekend:

As the crowd filtered out of the circuit under the flight path of East Midlands Airport, Jack reflected on his weekend’s performance:

“It was a good weekend on the whole for us at Donington.” Explained Butel.
“Race one was disappointing and that’s the way it goes sometimes but race two and three I was really happy with my performance.

“From the back of the grid I just wanted to go as far forward as possible. I was really fired up and I had one of my best drives to date and everything worked well – the car JHR Developments prepared was brilliant. It could have been a higher position if the race had been longer.

“ I can’t wait for the next round at Thruxton – it’s an amazing circuit, really quick and so much fun to drive. It’s flat out! We are going in the right direction with our pace and performance and want to be scoring points again next time out.”

James Walker, Jack’s driving and performance mentor was also quick to praise his fellow islander’s performance:

“It was another step forward from Jack and everything we have worked together on is working well.” Enthused Walker.

“He got himself together mentally and really prepared himself after the disappointment of the first race. He drove well and kept out of trouble especially when another driver nearly took him out in the third race!

“Heading to Thruxton, he is quick there, he likes it and we are expecting a good result. He is very motivated and with an improvement in qualifying that will be the key for further good results.”

The next stop on the MSA Formula Championship calendar is the fastest circuit in the UK – The high-speed Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on May 7/8. Jack and the team are looking for a strong showing at the former aerodrome circuit having completed a successful test there earlier this month.

DRIVER NEWS – Butel shows off his new colours ahead of Ford MSA Formula season

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DRIVER NEWS 31 March, 2016 – Jerseyman Jack Butel pulled the covers off his 2016 Ford British F4 single-seater at Rockingham last week during the Ford British F4 season launch.

The stunning Ford EcoBoost powered car will carry the striking red, white and black of Yuasa Batteries, one of the principle supporters for Jacks year ahead. Butel will be driving for JHR Developments for his second season in the fiercely competitive Ford British F4 Championship.

The 20-year-old had a steep learning curve in his first season but as the year developed the St Saviour resident gained momentum notching up four top-10 finishes in the run to the end of the year, with a solid sixth overall at Silverstone last September.

The Ford British F4 Series is a popular part of the TOCA package, which supports the action-packed Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. The series will tour the country from Thruxton in Hampshire to Knockhill in Fife, Scotland, with the season culminating at Brands Hatch, Kent in October.

Yuasa are no strangers to British motorsport having helped power the Honda Yuasa Racing team to several manufactures titles and three drivers titles for Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden in the BTCC. Jack’s new colours will be based on the classic championship winning Honda Yuasa Racing Civics, which motorsport fans worldwide will instantly recognise.

Yuasa have a long and proud motorsport heritage, and alongside their title sponsorship of the works Honda BTCC team the battery manufacturer has been a major sponsor of MotoGP’s Repsol Honda Team and rider Marc Marquez since 2014.

Speaking at last week’s Ford British F4 Series Launch Day, James Douglas, Marketing Executive for Yuasa Battery Sales (UK) Ltd. said: “We are pleased to be joining Jack Butel as one of his main sponsors for the 2016 Ford British F4 Championship. After a fantastic run of results at the end of last season he is definitely a driver to watch out for, and we are excited to see what he can achieve.

“Jack is really beginning to make his mark on the series and we are delighted he will be racing under the Yuasa banner this year. Jack will race in our iconic Yuasa racing livery, and we are confident that his car will stand out when on the track, it is fantastic that we will feature so prominently in another race series on the TOCA package.

“As the world’s leading battery manufacturer our motorsport sponsorship programme is key to maintaining our brand profile whilst reflecting our own core values of performance, reliability and quality.”

Jack Butel is delighted to have Yuasa on board, he said: “I am excited that leading battery firm Yuasa have joined us for the 2016 season. To have such a big brand backing me is a great feeling and I look forward to working with them to achieve our goals in the new season ahead. My new car livery looks fantastic and I am proud to be sporting such a famous and iconic motorsport design.

“My race pace was good last year and this year with a season under my belt I hope to be qualifying higher up the grid to be consistently running in the top 10. My hopes for this year are to break into the top five and then onto the podium. With the knowledge, data and experience I have, this has to be our target and we have to hit the ground running right from the off. I can’t wait to get started!”

DRIVER NEWS: Jack Butel to be mentored by James Walker during Ford MSA Formula campaign

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DRIVER NEWS 16 February, 2016 – Jerseyman Jack Butel is to be mentored in his second season in the fiercely competitive MSA Formula single-seater series by the highly experienced and fellow Jersey resident James Walker.

19-year-old Butel had a strong first season in the MSA Formula Championship claiming several top 10 results with a season best sixth overall at Silverstone last September.  In 2016, Jack is looking to progress further up the grid for the season ahead.

The JHR Developments driver will commence his second season in the MSA Formula series powered by Ford Eco-Boost on the 2/3 April at Brands Hatch. Between now and then, Jack has a busy schedule of testing, training and media appearances before his season gets underway in anger next month. James Walker’s involvement will certainly help him cope with his demanding schedule and further improve his racing performance.

“I am really excited that James [Walker] has joined us for the 2016 season.” Enthused Butel.

“His experience is invaluable as he has been there and done that. We can relate to each other as he knows what it is like out on track and in high-pressured situations. To have someone like that in Jersey is fantastic and something I can use to my advantage.

“This means I can work closely with James and train hard locally and just worry about the racing when I get to the UK. I look forward to working with him in the coming weeks ahead of the season opener at Brands Hatch.”

Fellow Channel Islander James Walker has a strong reputation in the motorsport industry having driven around the world in single-seater categories such as British Formula Ford, Formula Three, World Series by Renault and Superleague Formula as well as sports car outings at Daytona and Le Mans.

“I am delighted to be working with Jack in 2016,” said Walker. “ My role will be to work with him away from the track, improving his mindset and physical fitness and being there to assist in any way possible. Coming from racing in Jersey to a national series is a big step and as I have been there myself, I would like to use my experience to help guide him and make sure he avoids the mistakes young drivers tend to make.

“Jack had a solid year in 2015 as he learnt the car, circuits and how a race weekend works – so for this year we can come back to those circuits and achieve a quicker rate of development. He has already made a good start in the two tests this year and I look forward to seeing him progress in the months ahead.”

Jack will next be out in the car on 23 March at Rockingham before the championship gets underway at Brands Hatch on the 2/3 April under the spotlight of thousands of spectators trackside and hundreds of thousands watching live coverage on ITV4.

Jack Butel lands major new sponsor and will race on in Ford-powered MSA Formula with JHR team in 2016

  • Jerseyman’s EcoBoost racer to feature striking Yuasa-inspired livery
  • Butel to remain with JHR Developments team after successful debut season

17 January, 2016 – Jack Butel is brimming with excitement ahead of the coming season of the Ford-backed 2016 MSA Formula Championship in which he will continue to race for JHR Developments, as he announces Yuasa, one of the world’s leading battery manufacturers, as his major sponsor.

Securing sponsorship from Yuasa brings with it a myriad of opportunities for increased exposure, not least due to the sponsor’s association with British Touring Car Championship-winning outfit Team Dynamics.

Said Jack: “To be more a part of the touring car scene is a really big deal for me, especially with all the added exposure it will bring, and I’ll definitely be looking to pick up a few pointers from the likes of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden.”

Jack’s JHR machine will be adorned with the Yuasa colours and complimented by a host of other sponsors including FAI Auto Parts, Draper Tools, First Line, UAN, itgroup, Comma, Rockford IT and Express Autoparts. “The car is going to look awesome and really stand out. It will definitely be in the running for best looking car on the MSA Formula grid.”

Having spent the latter half of 2015 racing in the series with JHR, Jack is confident that remaining with the team is sure to play to his advantage. “I’m so glad that I’m racing with JHR. It’s an amazing team and I’m happy to do another year with them. Because we only joined them halfway through last year we didn’t really get to grips setting up the car to my specifications, but now we can hit the ground running in 2016.”

Jack, who turns 20 in March, also underlined how competing in MSA Formula for another year was such an attractive prospect thanks to the series being backed by Ford. He extolled the virtues of the 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost engine: “It’s great. Last year we didn’t have a single problem with the engine. It’s incredibly reliable and has great power response. You can’t really get any better than Ford as far as I’m concerned.”

Butel is planning to start his pre-season testing campaign next month at Thruxton.

MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, Powered by Ford EcoBoost is Britain’s official version of the FIA’s Formula 4 concept and was introduced last season as a supporting series to the British Touring Car Championship, enjoying live TV coverage and bumper raceday spectator attendance. The opening rounds are set for Brands Hatch in April.