Motor Sport News - - Btcc Preview: Supports -

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.

Leeds has Red Bull back­ing and could head Aussie invasion

Field­ing: top re­turn­ing driver

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