FORD MSA FORMULA
It is one of the oldest rivalries in sport: England versus Australia. There may not be an Ashes series this year but the battle for this season’s Ford MSA Formula title could be between racers from the two nations.
A trio of talented drivers have switched from Australian F4 for the second year of Britain’s FIA F4 series. Red Bull-backed Luis Leeds (Arden), Zane Goddard (Double R) and Harry Hayek (Jamun) – who all finished in the top 10 in the Australian F4 standings last year – have impressed in testing.
Championship manager Sam Roach says it’s not surprising that there’s been an influx of Antipodeans.
“Britain has always been seen as the pinnacle of single-seater motorsport and there’s a long history going back to the early days of Formula Ford of Australians racing here,” he says.
“Hopefully this is the beginning of something [with them entering MSA Formula]. The car, engine and tyres are exactly the same as Australian F4 so all they need to do is learn the different tracks.”
Goddard adds: “I think the quality of the drivers here [also encourages Aussies to move across]. The car is the same so that’s good but I’m getting used to the colder weather – it takes a while to get the grip from the tyres.
“All the testing has gone well so far and it would be good if me and Luis can stay up there and fight this year.”
As for the English contenders, JHR’S Sennan Fielding is expected to challenge. He is the only one of last year’s top six to return but a combination of a lack of testing and budget difficulties could hinder his chances this term.
“I just have to take it race by race,” says Fielding. “When it comes to racecraft, I know that’s where I have the advantage over other drivers.”
Ginetta Junior champion Jamie Caroline has impressed in the small amount of testing he’s done with Jamun, while James Pull is likely to feature with Carlin.
Several of the car-racing rookies have also shown strong pace, including Carlin’s Max Fewtrell and Fortec Motorsports’ Ross Martin and Alex Quinn.