Fewtrell pushes to the max for maiden Ford MSA Formula victory

  • Fewtrell caps off brilliant weekend with maiden single-seater victory.
  • Win sees Fewtrell snatch the championship lead from Carlin team-mate Petru Florescu.
  • Formula Kart Stars champion Ross Martin takes first Rookie Class win.

DONINGTON PARK 17 APRIL, 2016 – They say things go in threes and for the third time in succession Donington Park played host to a Ford EcoBoost-powered lights to flag victory. In round six the spoils went to Carlin’s Max Fewtrell ahead of TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and Fortec rookie Ross Martin.

It was a straightforward race for Fewtrell who like the weekend’s earlier pole sitters made a perfect getaway when the lights went out.

The same could not be said of Alex Quinn who struggled off the line in his Fortec Motorsports racer and dropped to sixth. Fastest lap proved to be his consolation prize in a race where he had hoped to record another win for the Racing Steps Foundation.

As Quinn fell back, Luis Leeds (TRS Arden) and Ross Martin (Fortec) were the immediate beneficiaries, moving up to second and third respectively and they proved to be Fewtrell’s closest challengers. However, the 16-year-old kart star had enough in hand to maintain a sufficient gap throughout, preventing his pursuers from mounting an attack.

James Pull (Carlin) in fourth and Sennan Fielding (JHR Developments) in fifth completed a breakaway group which spanned from Fewtrell down to Quinn; with this collection of six drivers capable of consistently lapping in the low 1m 08s bracket.

An ecstatic Fewtrell commented: “I needed to get a good start and be consistent because I knew I had the pace to keep the gap. As soon as I got that gap it stayed the same. Breaking the tow was key.

“Three podiums is brilliant, especially with one of them coming in the reverse grid race and to finish the weekend off with a win is great. Fighting with a lot of second year drivers is obviously a challenge, but I’m learning every race and getting more confident with the car and its Ford EcoBoost technology”.

Added second place man Leeds: “It was an alright weekend. Second in every race session apart from race two this weekend. I hope to get my first win pretty soon, but consistency is key and I’ve said that all along because my goal is to win the championship. I cannot wait for Thruxton. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself for three weeks until then!”

It was a landmark race for Ross Martin whose third place netted him his first Rookie class win of the campaign, and demonstrated that the Formula Kart Stars (FKS) champion is taking full advantage of his fully funded prize drive in the UK’s official FIA F4 series.

“I didn’t have a great start to the weekend but what an end”, enthused Martin. “The car felt amazing throughout and I dealt with the pressure well at the start. FKS have been rooting for me to get on the top step of the podium so to get my first Rookie win this early on is fantastic and hopefully my mentor Allan McNish managed to watch the race on television.”

There was drama early on as the field was forced to complete an additional formation lap when Zane Goddard’s Double R racer ground to a halt on the way to the grid.

Carlin’s DeFrancesco added to the excitement when the racing got underway as he rejoined the track following an off at the exit of Craner Curves, only to force several cars to take evasive action when he reappeared on the asphalt at Old Hairpin.

Jamun’s Jamie Caroline scythed through the midfield once again to make his way from 14th to seventh. The highlight of his race a robust overtaking manoeuvre on TRS Arden’s Rafael Martins who would follow the Pirtek Racing sponsored driver home in eighth.

Another stellar pass came from JHR’s Billy Monger who perfectly judged his move on Dane Nicolai Kjaergaard into Redgate on lap four and would later squeeze by Jerseyman Jack Butel on the final lap to finish on the fringes of the points in 11th.

Redgate is also where Martins showcased his race craft; brilliantly turning defence (brought about by team-mate Jack Martin glued to his gearbox) into attack as he tore past Hayek who had leapt in front of the Brazilian earlier on in proceedings. Martin would subsequently follow in Martins’ wheel tracks to also get ahead of the Aussie F4 graduate who clung on to the last points paying position.

It was a frustrating race for Carlin’s Petru Florescu who had to settle for 13th having hoped to make more progress through the field from the back of the grid after fighting at the front in race two earlier in the day.

It’s a result that sees Florescu relinquish his championship lead after Fewtrell’s superb performance this weekend. Attention now turns to rounds seven, eight and nine of season at Thruxton on 7-8 May. All eyes will be on Fewtrell to see if he can maintain this phenomenal run of form and whether Leeds can finally join the roster of maiden Ford EcoBoost-powered winners having now collected a trio of second place finishes.

Provisional results Round 6, Donington Park 17 April, 2016
15 laps / 29.69 miles
1 Max FEWTRELL / GBR / Carlin 17m 18.620s / 102.78 mph
2 Luis LEEDS / AUS / Arden +1.063s
3 Ross MARTIN / GBR / Fortec +1.469s
4 James PULL / GBR / Carlin +2.618s
5 Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR +2.931s
6 Alex QUINN / GBR / Fortec +3.481s
7 Jamie CAROLINE / GBR / Jamun +9.939s
8 Rafael MARTINS / BRA / Arden +10.798s
9 Jack MARTIN / GBR / Arden +12.594s
10 Harry HAYEK / AUS / Jamun +13.942 etc

Fastest lap Quinn 1:08.338 / 104.25 mph

Rookie Class 1 R Martin; 2 Quinn; 3 J Martin; 4 Kjaergaard

Full results

Provisional championship standings
1 Fewtrell 89; =2 Florescu 76; =2 Fielding 76; 4 Pull 69; 5 Leeds 68; 6 Quinn 55; 7 Caroline 46; 8 Martins 45; 9 Goddard 18 etc
Rookie Class 1 Quinn 136; 2 J Martin 97; 3 R Martin 76; 4 Kjaergaard 72 etc

Ross Martin overcomes Carlin’s boys in blue in final Ford MSA Formula test

  • Allan McNish mentored Ross Martin steals Carlin’s thunder.
  • All four of Carlin’s drivers maintain ominously fast pace.

24 March, 2016 – Fortec Motorsports’ Ross Martin shone in the final collective pre-season test for the Ford EcoBoost-powered series yesterday; setting the fastest time of the entire two day test at Rockingham.

Despite the continued dominance of Carlin, the day belonged to Formula Kart Stars champion Ross Martin. The young Scot appeared to find his feet around the Rockingham circuit on day two, posting his quickest time of 1:18.218 in the morning and never looking back.

Fortec team manager Dan Mitchell said: “Ross managed to get through his entire test programme in the morning and was extremely happy with the car so elected not to post a time in the afternoon.”

Snapping at the heels of Martin on the timesheets was Carlin’s quartet. The familiar face of Max Fewtrell, undoubtedly one of the stars of testing, once again played a prominent role. The 16 year-old ending the day second, just a tenth and half away from Martin.

Teammates Petru Florescu (fastest in the afternoon session) and Devlin DeFrancesco followed in the times.

TRS Arden’s Luis Leeds and JHR Developments’ Sennan Fielding joined the fray, aiming to ensure that the Carlin drivers didn’t have things completely their own way.

Leeds succeeded, posting a time of 1:18.464 in the afternoon which put him fifth overall and ahead of Tuesday’s quickest driver James Pull.

Meanwhile, Fielding was remarkably consistent throughout and found himself lying in eighth when the chequered flag fell.

Young Racing Driver Academy driver Ayrton Simmons also impressed for TRS Arden. He showed significant improvement as the day progressed, bettering his quickest time of the morning by over six tenths of a second in the afternoon.

With collective pre-season testing having concluded, all attention turns to Brands Hatch where the inaugural rounds of the Ford British F4 season will take place on 2/3 April.

Leading testing times Rockingham 23 March, 2016 (am/pm)
1 Ross MARTIN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.218 / No time set
2 Max FEWTRELL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.377 / 1:18.852
3 Petru FLORESCU / ROM Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.571 / 1:18.405
4 Devlin DeFRANCESCO / CAN Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.547 / 1:18.438
5 Luis LEEDS / AUS Arden / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.890 / 1:18.464
6 James PULL / GBR Carlin / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.471 / 1:18.490
7 Alex QUINN / GBR Fortec / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.823 / 1:18.800
8 Sennan FIELDING / GBR JHR / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.810 / 1:18.861
9 Ayrton SIMMONS / GBR Arden / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:19.448 / 1:18.816
10 Rafael MARTINS / BRA Arden / Ford British F4-EcoBoost / 1:18.865 / 1:19.132 etc.

Ford-powered MSA Formula and Formula Kart Stars championships announce partnership

  • Establishes clear pathway from karting to single seaters.
  • Formula Kart Star champions to win fully funded season in MSA Formula.

16 February, 2016 – MSA Formula and Formula Kart Stars have announced a partnership which will see FKS champions win a fully funded season in MSA Formula powered by Ford EcoBoost. It will result in greater alignment between both series as they continue to provide the best foundation for motorsport’s most talented and exciting prospects.

FKS chairman Carolynn Hoy believes its significance cannot be understated. “This is incredibly important. As is written in our logo, FKS is the road to Formula 1 through racing and education, and MSA Formula is the next part of that journey. We’re aiming to help all the kids in our championship make the jump to MSA Formula. This partnership represents a major part of a credible pathway to Formula 1. We’re joining the dots if you like, between FKS, MSA Formula, GP3, GP2 and F1.”

The first of many beneficiaries of this relationship is 2015 Formula Kart Stars champion, Ross Martin, who will race with Fortec in the Ford powered series courtesy of the prize. The young Scottish racer enthused: “The opportunity this partnership has given me is fantastic. There’s no other thing like this at any level in British motorsport. There’s a real logical scope for progression now and it really sets you up for the future.”

Sam Roach, MSA Formula championship manager, commented: “The Ford British F4 is delighted to welcome a driver of Ross Martin’s calibre to the Championship. With his FKS karting pedigree, he’s sure to be a frontrunner from the outset. We’re also particularly pleased to have established this relationship between FKS and the Ford British F4 that we believe will benefit the development and careers of young drivers for many years to come.”

More details of the partnership between Ford British F4 and Formula Kart Stars are to be announced in the near future.

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 on the live-televised British Touring Car Championship package. It is the only championship in the UK open to 15 year-old drivers and earns drivers points towards the FIA Super Licence. The opening rounds of the season are set for Brands Hatch in early April.

Formula Kart Stars is a British based Karting Championship which is supported by Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management, as well as former FKS competitor and triple Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton. The series is the premier training ground for aspiring single seater and sports car drivers. It enables competitors to compete at a fixed price, with equal equipment and a level of media and hospitality that is unrivalled in karting.

Formula Kart Stars Champ Martin lands Ford-powered MSA Formula drive

  • Ross Martin graduates to MSA Formula after winning Bernie Ecclestone and Formula One Management-backed 2015 Formula Kart Stars Championship
  • Martin receives fully funded drive with Fortec as prize for claiming title

18 January, 2016 – The Autosport International Show has brought with it the announcement that Ross Martin will compete in the Ford EcoBoost-powered MSA Formula Championship in 2016. He will attack the track as a Fortec Motorsport driver thanks to winning the 2015 Formula Kart Star championship and with it the prize of a fully funded drive.

A proud Martin is understandably thrilled with the opportunity to compete in the championship: “There’s no other thing like it at any level in British motorsport. The MSA and Ford have put together a great championship with phenomenal drivers. We all know what an incredible brand Ford is and the 1.6 litre EcoBoost engine it supplies is fantastic.”

Safe in the knowledge of a fully funded drive for 2016, Ross has not had to contend with the pressures of securing sponsorship. “I knew I had sufficient funding in place, and therefore could focus on preparing for the year ahead as best possible. Of course it will be nice to get more sponsors on board, but that will hopefully happen as the season progresses.”

The Scottish youngster is excited to be working with Fortec, with whom he has already tested at Valencia in Spain, claiming second-fastest time. “I’m looking forward to working with Fortec, it is a championship-winning team. The test in Valencia was a great way to get to know everyone.”

Ross also paid tribute to his mentor, three-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner Allan McNish: “He’s been giving me advice for three years. Having him in my corner has been a great help and advantage. Hopefully he’ll come to a few races this season. I would love to match his Le Mans record one day.”

Carolynn Hoy, Formula Kart Stars chairman, is convinced that in Ross Martin Formula Kart Stars has the perfect candidate to fly the flag for the series. “We have a worthy champion here. A very able driver. After his first test with Fortec, he’s already showing he’s got great potential for 2016 and beyond. He’s going to be carrying the torch for us and I’m certain he will be an excellent ambassador for the series.”

The opening rounds of MSA Formula – Certified by FIA, powered by Ford EcoBoost are set for Brands Hatch in early 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.