Cham­pi­onship hopes to at­tract more en­tries

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - By Stephen Lick­o­r­ish

Lead­ing sin­gle-seater squad Car­lin has con­firmed that it will re­turn to British For­mula 4 next sea­son af­ter tak­ing a sab­bat­i­cal this year.

Car­lin pow­ered new Mclaren F1 re­cruit Lando Nor­ris, Max Fewtrell and Jamie Caro­line to the British F4 ti­tle in a three-year pe­riod of dom­i­na­tion of the se­ries.

But it an­nounced it would not com­pete in the 2018 sea­son af­ter ex­pand­ing into Indy­car and F2 for this term. The team did not sell its F4 equip­ment, how­ever, and will now make a re­turn next year, hav­ing al­ready be­gun test­ing driv­ers.

“The cham­pi­onship holds many happy mem­o­ries for us,” said team boss Trevor Car­lin. “We won the in­au­gu­ral sea­son with Lando Nor­ris who three years later is on his way to For­mula 1 so we know that the cham­pi­onship is the per­fect plat­form for young and tal­ented driv­ers look­ing to launch their ca­reer in the best pos­si­ble way.

“We loved be­ing in the pad­dock, as part of the TOCA pack­age, and the rac­ing was al­ways ex­cit­ing to watch, so we look for­ward to be­ing part of this again and hope to be able to an­nounce driv­ers shortly.”

Cham­pi­onship pro­moter Sam Roach said: “It’s great news to have their cars back on the grid. They al­ways said it would be a sab­bat­i­cal and we were hope­ful they would be back with us.

“As three-time cham­pi­onship win­ners it gives ev­ery­one else a bench­mark to aim for.”

Roach is hope­ful that Car­lin won’t be the only ad­di­tional team to the cham­pi­onship next year and the se­ries is in talks with a num­ber of out­fits.

Af­ter Car­lin with­drew, only five teams reg­u­larly com­peted this year.

“We cer­tainly hope so [that it will lead to more],” he said. “I think the whole sin­gle-seater mar­ket is chang­ing a lot and there’s a bit of a ‘wait and see’ sit­u­a­tion with F3 [with the new In­ter­na­tional F3 se­ries re­plac­ing GP3 and a yet-to-be­de­ter­mined Re­gional F3 cat­e­gory in Europe] which has af­fected peo­ples’ plan mak­ing. Other teams are in­ter­ested and there are two that are talk­ing to us quite se­ri­ously.”

Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey, LAT

Sab­bat­i­cal: Car­lin skipped F4 in 2018

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