DRIVER NEWS: Caroline and Pirtek Racing ready to kick-start new challenge in Ford MSA Formula

Supplied by driver’s PR

DRIVER NEWS 31 March, 2016 – Rising star Jamie Caroline will embark on the latest stage of his career this weekend [2/3 April] when the Pirtek Racing driver makes his single-seater debut in the Ford British F4 Series at Brands Hatch.

The 17-year-old goes into the opening rounds of the BTCC support series having already shown impressive speed at the wheel of his Jamun Racing-prepared car in recent months.

Whilst he hasn’t been able to complete as much running as some of his rivals, Jamie’s pre-season testing performances have seen him consistently near the top of the times; finishing inside the top three at both Brands Hatch and Snetterton before the teenager led the way during the morning session at Donington Park.

Jamie will now look to carry that pace into this weekend’s event at a circuit that already holds happy memories in his fledgling career, having been the venue where he wrapped up his Ginetta Junior title in dramatic fashion on the longer GP layout back in October.

With confidence still high following that stunning title success, Jamie has his sights firmly set on a strong start to the year and is optimistic about what the weekend holds, with podiums – and wins – very much the focus for the first three races of the year.

“I’m always excited when a race weekend comes around but I’m particularly looking forward to making my debut in single-seaters at Brands Hatch,” he said. “The atmosphere promises to be fantastic and I’m looking to do a good job on track for the team, for Pirtek and all my sponsors, and also for my supporters.

“Whilst I haven’t done as much testing as some of my rivals, I think the fact that I was on the pace pretty much straightaway is a really encouraging sign and something I can now aim to build on when the real action gets underway. I was always confident that I’d be able to make the move into single-seaters without any problems, so it’s a nice feeling to be as quick – or quicker – than some of those who have done a lot more running over the winter.

“Brands Hatch is a circuit that I love and I’m hoping that I can have a strong weekend to start the season. Qualifying is going to be important but I’ve always been someone who races well, so even if I don’t manage to qualify right at the front, I’d like to think I can make up places when the lights go out.

“The championship isn’t going to be won in the first three races but I’m ready to make a move if I see the chance and fight for at least a podium finish. If I could open the season with a win to my name, it would be fantastic.”

Having run in plain colours during winter testing, Jamie’s Pirtek Racing livery will be revealed on Friday, when pre-event testing and practice takes place at the circuit.

After qualifying on Saturday 2 April at 09.00, the first of three MSA Formula races will be at 14.15 on Saturday afternoon, with race two following at 17.35. Race three then takes place on Sunday at 14.55 and will feature as part of the BTCC’s extensive live coverage on ITV4. Live results from the weekend will be available at

Fewtrell fires warning shot in Ford MSA Formula test

  • 16 year-old Carlin driver Max Fewtrell quickest at Donington Park circuit.
  • Top 10 drivers covered by less than a second.

16 March, 2016 – The second collective Ford British F4 test of the season at Donington Park was a thrilling tale of two halves. Jamie Caroline lit up the timing screens throughout the morning; whilst Messrs Quinn, Goddard and Fewtrell stole the plaudits in the afternoon. The latter storming his way to the quickest time of the test.

Jamun Racing’s Jamie Caroline was the unquestionable star of the morning session, going fastest with a time of 1:07.866. He was the only driver to break into the 1:07s; clearly putting his previous experience at the circuit from Ginetta Juniors to good use. However, the Pirtek Racing and Keltbray backed driver’s morning time was only good enough for fourth when the chequered flag fell at the end of the day.

Max Fewtrell dominated much of the afternoon session. In the final 10 minutes he used a set of new tyres to stamp his authority all over proceedings with a 1:07.391. A time that was quicker than the 2015 Donington Park MSA Formula pole lap and a clear signal that both he and reigning champions Carlin will be a force to be reckoned with in 2016.

Fewtrell was also one of the test’s biggest improvers following a quiet morning which saw him lie seventh at the lunch break. Yet the driver who progressed the most in terms of sheer lap time was Fortec Motorsports’ Frank Bird who improved upon his best morning time by over a second and a half.

Bird’s teammate Alex Quinn shone throughout. The Racing Steps Foundation driver clearly revelling in the cold conditions at the circuit. The 15 year-old dropped to third with just four minutes remaining as Double R Racing’s Zane Goddard swooped in with a 1:07.719, claiming second just as he did at Brands Hatch several weeks ago.

Although Goddard once again missed out on the bragging rights, his tally of 190 laps for the day was second only to TRS Arden’s Jack Martin on 196. Both drivers demonstrating the sheer reliability of both the 1.6 litre Ford EcoBoost engine and the Mygale chassis.

Ford British F4 heads to Rockingham on Tuesday 22 March for its next collective test.

Testing times Donington Park 16/03/16 (am/pm)

1 Max FEWTRELL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.284 / 1:07.391

2 Zane GODDARD / AUS Double R / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.166 / 1:07.719

3 Alex QUINN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.465 / 1:07.818  

4 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR Jamun / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:07.866 / 1:07.912

5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR JHR / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.171 / 1:07.896

6 James PULL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.033 / 1:07.966

7 Rafael MARTINS / BRA Arden / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.039 / 1:08.048

8 Devlin DeFRANCESCO / CAN Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.806 / 1:08.078

9 Ross MARTIN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.141 / 1:08:303

10 Billy MONGER / GBR JHR / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:08.464 / 1:08.160 etc.

Full TSL timesheets


Torque Speed – Driver reaction from Brands Hatch Ford MSA Formula Test

  • Luis Leeds pays testament to the fantastic work of his Arden team.
  • Zane Goddard expects very close season.
  • Jamie Caroline pushing the limits to be in best shape for the start of the season.
4 March, 2016 – With the dust having settled on last week’s Ford British F4 test which saw the field covered by less than a second, we hear from some of the test’s key protagonists.

Red Bull Junior Team driver Luis Leeds left Brands Hatch with the fastest time and the bragging rights: “It was a really good test. We focused on consistency and trying to do the right thing in every session like using the correct tyre warming procedures and it paid dividends. Arden set the car up brilliantly and together as a team we performed really well.

“To be part of the Red Bull Junior Team driver programme and have the Red Bull logo all over my Ford British F4 car is amazing. It brings with it a little bit of pressure, but it’s a good kind of pressure. It helps you perform and motivates you to do your best.”

Zane Goddard spent much of the test at the top of the timesheets and ended up second fastest for Double R Racing: “The times are so close. It’s going to be an exciting year with very close racing. Hopefully we can stay towards the front.

“I got a lot out of the car and I think the team should be really proud of what they have done. They have worked really hard.”

Goddard’s Double R teammate Carrie Schreiner also lit up the timing screens on a number of occasions, the German clearly enjoying her time behind the wheel: “The test was a lot of fun and it went well. The Double R team is made up of such a good group of people. I’m able to learn so much in Ford British F4 and I really enjoy driving the Ford EcoBoost powered car.

Ginetta Junior champion Jamie Caroline’s lap times suggested that he’s a force to be reckoned with in 2016, setting the third fastest time overall. An achievement made all the more impressive given that his running was curtailed due to damaging his Jamun Racing prepared car on track: “I was trying to find more when there wasn’t any more to find and I just went over the limit. It’s not ideal, but you’ve got to find the limit one way or another. It’s all about learning at this stage.

“I’m loving the Ford British F4 car. When you really push the car it responds brilliantly.”

Meanwhile, Ayrton Simmons tallied an impressive 146 laps for Arden on his way to the seventh quickest time: “The car felt really good. I’m pleased with my times and mileage. I spend a lot of time in the gym and work a lot on my fitness so I feel well prepared. To have done this many laps in one day is no problem at all for me.”

The next collective Ford British F4 test will take place 16 March at Donington Park.

Hayek aiming for Ford MSA Formula title having joined Jamun Racing for 2016

  • Hayek makes switch to Ford British F4 from Australian Formula 4 sister series
  • 17 year-old will line up alongside Jamie Caroline at Jamun

25 February, 2016 – Australian teenager Harry Hayek will race in the Ford EcoBoost powered MSA Formula this season with Jamun Racing. The 17 year-old from Sydney will move to the UK after finishing fourth in the Australian Formula 4 championship last season, which uses the same Ford-powered Mygale car as MSA Formula.

Hayek started karting in 2012 and won two Australian Senior State titles in 2014 before graduating to cars last year. He will now partner Ginetta Junior champion Jamie Caroline at Jamun Racing in Ford British F4.

Said Hayek: “The biggest challenge will be going over to the UK and living by myself. I’m very lucky and fortunate to have this opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.

“The ultimate goal is to win the championship. It’s definitely an advantage to have raced the car before in Australia so I learnt a lot about set-up and can take that into Ford British F4 this year.”

Jamun Racing team manager James Mundy commented: “We are very excited to have signed Harry, he did very well in the Australian series last year. We’ve got a strong line-up with Jamie and Harry who complement each other well.

“We are really looking forward to the season ahead. We cannot wait to get started. There’s a really good atmosphere and buzz in the team with two very talented drivers joining us.”

The opening rounds of MSA Formula – certified by FIA, powered by Ford EcoBoost are set for Brands Hatch on 2/3 April. The series is Britain’s official version of the FIA’s Formula 4 concept and was introduced last season as a supporting series on the live-televised British Touring Car Championship package.

Leeds shines at Brands Hatch Ford MSA Formula test

  • Australians Luis Leeds and Zane Goddard led the way in opening test of the 2016 season
  • Less than a second covered incredibly competitive field

24 February, 2016 – Arden’s Luis Leeds came out on top of the timesheets in 2016’s first MSA Formula, powered by Ford EcoBoost, collective test session at Brands Hatch. However, he was far from having things his own way, with a host of drivers taking turns to star at the top of the times. When the chequered flag finally fell, the ultra-competitive field was covered by less than a second, suggesting that this year’s Ford British F4 season is one no one will want to miss.

Red Bull Junior Team driver Leeds was in fine form, demonstrating speed and consistency out on track. His morning time was enough for third fastest and he was the only driver to break the 46 second barrier with a 45.974s lap.

Fellow Formula 4 Australia graduate Zane Goddard was similarly impressive for Double R Racing. Both Australians were clearly able to take advantage of their experience gained in the MSA Formula sister series, which uses the same 1.6 litre Ford EcoBoost engine and Mygale chassis. Indeed, Goddard ended the morning session with the outright quickest time which only he and Leeds were able to better late in the afternoon.

2015 Ginetta Junior champion Jamie Caroline was quickest of the British contingent in third. An achievement made all the more remarkable given that his running was severely limited due to two off-track excursions on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend (both of which damaging his Jamun Racing prepared car).

Another former Ginetta Junior driver caught the eyes of many up and down the paddock with his rate of improvement as the test progressed. JHR Developments driver Billy Monger came alive in the afternoon to record the sixth fastest time.

Meanwhile, MSA Formula returnee Sennan Fielding made amends for a morning mired in the pits due to technical difficulties; to set a time that would see him leave the Kent circuit fourth fastest.

The next collective Ford British F4 test session will take place on 16 March at Donington Park.

Testing times Brands Hatch 24/02/16 (am/pm)
1 Luis LEEDS / AUS Arden / MSA Formula-Ford EcoBoost / 46.064s / 45.974s
2 Zane GODDARD / AUS Double R / MSA Formula-Ford EcoBoost / 46.040s / 46.008s
3 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR Jamun / MSA Formula-Ford EcoBoost / 46.063s / 54.064s
4 Sennan FIELDING / GBR JHR / MSA Formula-Ford EcoBoost / 46.667s / 46.131s
5 Ross MARTIN / GBR Fortec / MSA Formula-Ford EcoBoost / 46.197s / 46.246s
6 Billy MONGER / GBR JHR / MSA Formula-Ford EcoBoost / 47.147s / 46.214s
7 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR Arden / MSA Formula-Ford EcoBoost / 46.258s / 46.225s
8 Rafael MARTINS / BRA Arden / MSA Formula-Ford EcoBoost / 46.819s / 46.399s
9 Jack BUTEL / GBR JHR / MSA Formula-Ford EcoBoost / 46.700s / 46.438s
10 Patrik MATTHIESEN / DAN JTR / MSA Formula-Ford EcoBoost / 46.939s / 46.485s etc.

Full TSL timesheets

Frank Bird makes switch to Ford-powered MSA Formula

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caroline to contest Ford MSA Formula in 2016 with Jamun Racing

  • Jamie Caroline will race in single seaters for the first time in 2016
  • Secures seat with Jamun Racing
  • Car to feature striking Pirtek inspired livery

10 February, 2016 – Jamie Caroline is to join the Ford EcoBoost powered MSA Formula Championship on the back of a hugely successful campaign last season in which he claimed the Ginetta Junior crown. He will race with Jamun, which competed under the moniker MBM in 2015.

Caroline explained the motives behind his switch to single-seaters and emphasised how the compliance of the Ford EcoBoost powered MSA Formula car was a major plus point: “A year in single-seaters is the best thing for an aspiring driver. I’m still young and it would not be a wasted year. Most professional drivers have done at least a year in single-seaters, Jason Plato has, Andy Priaulx has, and so on.

“It allows you to get to grips with slicks and is of benefit later in your career. Clios do not excite me as much and I think this is a good way to try to get my name out there.

“I tested with the team last year and got on really well with them and I loved the car. I have the momentum from winning the Ginetta Junior title. I really enjoyed the Ginettas but they were a bit unpredictable. The Mygale F4 chassis does what you want it to do.”

Said Jamun’s team manager, James Mundy: “We are delighted to have finally put this deal together. We have been determined to get Jamie in our car for the 2016 season ever since we first tested him. His raw speed and natural talent is something we haven’t seen for some time. It’s a great feeling to get that buzz back.”

Phil Glew of Edge Sporting Management, which represents the 17-year-old, is understandably excited about the prospect of Caroline getting the opportunity to compete in single seaters: “We have worked very hard to try to piece all this jigsaw together… We always knew Jamie was an exceptional talent ever since we first worked with him in 2014. He proved this in front of everyone at Thruxton with his first win.

“Then in 2015 when he dominated the Ginetta Championship we knew we had to test him in a single-seater. His pace blew us all away… It would be a crime not to let this young driver have a chance on the single-seater ladder. It’s taken some time to do the deal and there are still a few lose ends to tie up, but to have Jamun, Keltbray, Pirtek Racing and Jamie Caroline all working together is a fantastic achievement.”

Young stars get to grips with Ford-powered MSA Formula racers

  • Ginetta Junior frontrunner Jamie Caroline and Henry Surtees Challenge prizewinner Piers Prior test at Rockingham with leading MSA Formula teams

18 SEPTEMBER 2015 – Young chargers Piers Prior (pictured) and Jamie Caroline are the latest young British drivers to get a taste of the Ford EcoBoost-powered FIA Formula 4 cars which provide the spectacular track entertainment that is the MSA Formula Championship.

The teenagers both tackled the Rockingham circuit in Northamptonshire, venue for the most recent MSA Formula rounds, with 17-year-old karting star Prior in action today with Falcon Motorsport and Caroline, 16, trying out with MBM Motorsport a few days ago.

Prior’s test was a prize drive won at last October’s Henry Surtees Challenge karting event at Buckmore Park, Kent, in which Piers finished fourth overall. Falcon Motorsport boss Nick Streatfield was impressed by his debutant driver: “Piers went very well, and listened to everything he was told… In all he had five sessions, each of around 15 laps, and he was learning and improving all the time. We were very pleased to able to award the test session at the Henry Surtees Challenge, and indeed we will be doing the same again at the 2015 event to be held next month.”

Piers began karting aged nine and was three times the Buckmore Park junior champion before going on to a third-place finish in the Senior Sodi World Series last year.

Ginetta Junior Championship leader Jamie Caroline impressed the MBM Motorsport team when he sampled one of the squad’s chassis at Rockingham. The 16-year-old, who had never before driven any track car other than a Ginetta sports racer, completed more than 100 laps.

“His management team, Edge Sporting Management, wanted to see how well Jamie would go in a single-seater,” said MBM boss James Mundy. “Given that it was his first time in a single-seater and his first time on slick tyres, Jamie was brilliant, really impressive.

“Jamie covered more than 100 laps, quite a few on old tyres to get a feel for the car and then three runs on new tyres, during which he set some very good times. We made some set-up changes for the end-of-day run and he responded well to them: his best time was in the 1m 18s, which would have put him in the top 10 in qualifying for the Rockingham championship event the previous weekend.”

Jamie was enthusiastic about his experience: “I loved driving the car – it was mega. It was my first time in anything other than a Ginetta Junior, and it was a big step up but I really enjoyed it. I’d never been out on slicks before in a car, either, so the hardest thing was getting used to maximising the grip of the tyres. The straightline speed was a bit scary at first, all a bit of a shock, but I really enjoyed it.”

Caroline says he has no firm plans for 2016 yet: “I’ve just tested a G55 Ginetta as well, and as ever it will be down to budgets and finance. Single-seaters is definitely an option though.”