MSA FORMULA KICKS OFF AT BRANDS HATCH
Another talented field of drivers prepares for the second Ford MSA Formula season – Photo: Jakob Ebrey
Ford MSA Formula roars back into life this weekend at Brands Hatch for the inaugural rounds of the 2016 season. Following a successful maiden season as the UK’s official FIA Formula 4 series, the Ford MSA Formula has once again attracted a plethora of the finest motorsport talents from around the world and from a variety of race categories. All of whom are aiming to follow in the footsteps of 2015’s emphatic Champion Lando Norris.
The winning formula behind arguably the world’s most competitive junior single-seater championship will remain with the regulations largely unchanged.
The acclaimed “EcoBoost” technology based 1.6 litre Ford engine will power the advanced-carbon fibre chassis from Mygale, as drivers battle it out on track.
FIA Super Licence Points, the prestigious title of FIA British Formula 4 Champion, a test with a leading FIA Euro F3 team and a share of a £30,000 prize fund from Ford Motor Company are all up for grabs.
The series will continue to reflect Ford’s longstanding support of grassroots motor racing, a commitment which has spanned almost 50 years.
Ahead of the new season Ford Performance’s Gerard Quinn commented: “Ford is one of the few manufacturers involved in this level of racing in terms of funding and managing a championship.
“By playing such an integral role at this level we are enabling young talent to go racing and make it to the top of the sport.
“With the series endorsed by the FIA, the Super Licence points drivers earn in this championship will facilitate their progression to the pinnacle of motorsport.”
A wealth of talent
Reigning champions Carlin boast an enviable quartet of drivers. It includes Devlin DeFrancesco who makes the trip across the pond having dominated the North American karting scene; the experienced hands of James Pull and Petru Florescu who both competed in the series last year and finally Max Fewtrell. The latter exhibiting a level of speed and consistency during pre-season preparations which has seen many already tip him for the title.
Another returnee to the series is JHR Developments driver Sennan Fielding, who is looking to build upon his momentum from three race wins and an impressive end to 2015. Jerseyman Jack Butel also seeks Ford MSA Formula title glory at the second time of asking and Billy Monger arrives fresh from Ginetta Juniors. 2015 rival and Ginetta Junior Champion Jamie Caroline makes the switch to single-seaters with Jamun Racing, whilst Patrik Matthiesen heads up the JTR assault.
A host of challengers arrive on the back of successful Australian F4 campaigns. Red Bull Junior Team driver Luis Leeds leads the TRS Arden charge; whilst Harry Hayek competes for Jamun and Zane Goddard embarks upon a season with Double R Racing. German Carrie Schreiner will team up with Goddard at selected rounds, dovetailing her Ford MSA Formula commitments with German F4.
This season Ford MSA Formula is once again the only single seater series open to drivers under the age of 16 and its youngest entrant, TRS Arden’s Ayrton Simmons, faces a frustrating wait until his fifteenth birthday to compete from Thruxton onwards. Another 15-year-old in the shape of fellow Young Racing Driver Academy member Jack Martin lines up alongside him in Garry Horner’s squad. Meanwhile, Rafael Martins is aiming to turn a collection of podiums and Rookie Class victories last year into the perfect foundation for a concerted title effort.
Fortec Motorsports is another team to feature four drivers. It’s headed by Racing Steps Foundation backed Alex Quinn and Formula Kart Stars Champion Ross Martin. Both have been standout performers in testing. They will be joined by Frank Bird and Dane Nicolai Kjaergaard.
Never miss the action
Ford MSA Formula is contested over a 10 meeting, 30 race schedule. It enjoys pride of place as the sole single-seater support series to the UK’s premier motorsport package, the British Touring Car Championship. The series visits all major British circuits, boasting live Sunday-afternoon television coverage on ITV4, as well as a highlights package on the channel’s Motorsport UK programme.
About Ford MSA Formula
The motive power for the Ford MSA Formula chassis is the 1.6 litre DI turbocharged EcoBoost – a mainstay of Ford’s performance car range. It is a 160 PS unit which successfully powered the MSA Formula cars throughout 2015, designed and manufactured by Ford in Britain and supplied at a price to meet the FIA’s mandated price cap.
It is the only engine homologated by the FIA for use in F4 chassis in the UK. The engines and their electronic management systems are supplied by engine tuner Sodemo in sealed form following dyno testing and power matching to ensure a level and fair playing field.
The championship’s carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, designed to meet exacting FIA safety standards, is supplied by respected French manufacturer Mygale. Based at Magny Cours, Mygale was founded in 1989 by Bertrand Decoster; its first car was a Formula Ford. This combination has gone on to win championships around the globe, including the last ten MSA Formula and Formula Ford championships in Britain.
The Mygale F4 chassis is designed around the FIA F3 level safety requirements, including front and rear impact absorbing structures, anti-intrusion side panels, roll hoops, FIA head restraint system, wheel restraining cables, FIA safety seat and retractable steering wheel and column.
A pole position prize will be awarded by Mygale to the team which runs the car that qualifies on pole at each round of the championship. The team will receive a €1,000 credit to be used for the acquisition parts.
Ford MSA Formula cars race on Hankook slick tyres, identical in compound and construction to those employed in the FIA European F3 Championship. This means drivers are be able to gain valuable experience of the tyres and their characteristics ahead of a step up to FIA Euro F3.