Kiwi rising star Louis Sharp secures Carlin seat for 2022 season

Kiwi rising star Louis Sharp has secured a ‘dream’ move to the ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA after agreeing a deal to contest the 2022 season with Carlin.

The teenager from Christchurch switches to Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series after a superlative run in the Formula Ford New Zealand South Island Series, including five race victories and ten podium finishes from eleven starts.

That followed an equally silverware-laden career in karting, including multiple national titles and selection to represent his nation in the FIA Karting Academy Trophy.

That meteoric rise through the ranks put Sharp on the radar of Rodin Cars founder and renowned talent spotter David Dicker, whose support recently accelerated Liam Lawson’s progression up the FIA’s single seater pathway to his current berth in FIA Formula 2, also with Carlin.

“It’s all a dream come true. I’m excited to kick off my journey with Carlin, the same team as Liam where the likes of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo also raced,” said Sharp.

“My goal is Formula 1. I know there is a lot of hard work required to make it, but this support [from David Dicker] means I can concentrate on being the best I can be on track.”

Dicker underlined his faith in Sharp’s abilities and believes the 14-year-old has every chance of emulating the likes of Brendon Hartley, Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme among others in representing New Zealand at the pinnacle of the sport.

“The talent is evident, as is Louis’ passion. I am happy to support young motorsport enthusiasts helping themselves to succeed,” said Dicker.

“It’s really up to Louis where this journey will lead him. I have merely absorbed the financial restraints, enabling Louis to focus on what he does best. I have full faith Louis will put New Zealand on the international motorsport map.”

Sharp, who joins the previously announced Ugo Ugochukwu at Trevor Carlin’s eponymous outfit, will also be one of the youngest drivers in the 2022 field – as a result, he will have to wait until the second event at Brands Hatch on 14-15 May to make his competitive debut following his 15th birthday.

On his team’s latest signing, Trevor Carlin said: “Louis clearly has a lot of potential and I’m excited to see how he progresses as he familiarises himself with the track and car here in the UK. 

“This is exactly what the F4 British Championship is about, providing a fantastic proving ground for young drivers from across the world.  With the new Tatuus-Abarth package and the incredible circuits we have here in the UK, this is the perfect training ground for tomorrow’s racing stars. 

“Without a doubt Louis will have a steep learning curve ahead of him, but the way he has handled himself in the short time we have had with him so far would indicate he’s capable of taking that all in his stride.”

Sharp’s announcement makes him the tenth driver to commit to their place on the grid.

2022 marks a new era in the championship’s history, with new organisers in Motorsport UK and a brand-new chassis in the Tatuus T-421, complete with state-of-the-art safety features such as a Halo-style cockpit protection device, re-inforced side anti-intrusion panels and on-board safety signalling systems. 

The series commences at Donington Park at the end of April and runs through until the finale at Brands Hatch in October, with action broadcast live and free-to-air on ITV4.

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