- Derbyshire-based team and driver link up again in 2016
- Ultra-successful squad has single-seater glory in its sights
- Giant-killing exploits the goal in fiercely-contested series
TEAM NEWS 27 January, 2016 – Front-running British motorsport outfit JHR Developments has single-seater glory firmly in its sights in 2016, after re-signing former McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC Award finalist Sennan Fielding to spearhead its Ford British F4 championship challenge.
JHR and Fielding first teamed up back in 2012, when the precocious car-racing rookie sped to the runner-up spoils in the Ginetta Junior Championship. The Derbyshire duo rejoined forces last year for the inaugural season of MSA Formula.
Although early misfortune foiled an anticipated title tilt – 10 races in, Fielding languished at the foot of the top ten, more than 100 points adrift of the summit – over the remainder of the campaign, the 20-year-old was one of the leading scorers as he clawed his way doggedly up to fourth in the final classification amongst the 25 protagonists.
That stirring fightback came courtesy of a remarkable run of rostrums – between Oulton Park and Knockhill, the hotly-tipped Chesterfield ace tallied an impressive eight top-three finishes from 11 starts – and a hat-trick of summer victories behind the wheel of his distinctive Amigos Tequila Flavoured Beer-backed car. Indeed, his commendable consistency kept Fielding in contention for the coveted crown right the way through to the Brands Hatch GP finale.
With a full season now under the team’s belt, JHR team principal Steven Hunter has high hopes of maintaining that upward momentum into the forthcoming campaign, with Jerseyman Jack Butel similarly confirmed to return in an expanded effort for the Dronfield-based outfit.
“Sennan is a dyed-in-the-wool racer who scarcely put a foot wrong in 2015,” remarked Hunter, whose squad has no fewer than nine titles to its credit in the junior echelons of UK motor racing and was the first to win a race in every BTCC support series. “We are all delighted to have him back on board.
“He has always displayed incredible consistency and invariably makes the most of the equipment at his disposal. His racecraft is exceptional and his attacking and defending first-rate. In my mind, Sennan was the standout driver of last season and I have no doubt at all that he will be a title contender in 2016.”
Those sentiments are shared by Fielding, who lives just down the road from JHR and whose demon starts and incisive overtaking certainly caught the eye last year. With a burgeoning reputation as the 2013 Racing Steps Foundation MSA Young Driver of the Year and a multiple BRDC Formula 4 race-winner, he is eager to put his experience to good use in Britain’s most fiercely-disputed single-seater series.
“I’m really excited to be staying with JHR, and I genuinely believe we’re going to have a great season together,” he enthused. “MSA Formula is a fantastic series, and being on the BTCC package, it’s the perfect shop window for drivers and sponsors alike – there’s nothing else like it in British motorsport.
“In 2015, we encountered some bad luck early on which put us on the back foot and meant we couldn’t capitalise on the pace we had, but the team did a superb job and all the boys worked tremendously hard to give me a reliable and race-winning car.
“It’s been a long winter trying to raise sufficient sponsorship to continue this year, and to have the ongoing backing of such a prestigious brand as Amigos is a massive boost. The best way to repay JHR and Amigos’ support would be to go out there and win the championship.
“It’s clearly going to be another tough season with an extremely high-calibre field of drivers and teams, but the title is unquestionably our goal. For that, we’ll need to win races, score regular points and podium finishes – which was one of our trump cards last year – and we’ll also need a little bit of luck, which is something we lacked in 2015. The key will be to make sure we come away with three solid results from every weekend.
“We’ve got the car really dialled-in now, so there’s no reason at all why we can’t fight for the championship. I’ve known Steven Hunter for a number of years and have a strong relationship with the whole team, which means we can hit the ground running as soon as testing begins.
“There are some big names in the fray, in comparison to whom we have a much smaller budget and limited resources. We’re definitely the underdogs and it’s a bit of a David vs. Goliath scenario in that respect – but we all know who won that particular battle…”