SHARP JOINS BRITISH F4 GRID FOR 2017
Sharp is the latest young gun to make the leap from karting to single seaters – Photo: Jakob Ebrey
Jamie Sharp will make the step up to the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford in 2017 with new team Sharp Motorsport which will be run by his father Joe Sharp.
15-year-old Sharp will compete for the most coveted championship in British single-seater racing on the back of seven years of karting and has a significant amount of single-seater mileage under his belt with TRS Arden as part of the Young Racing Driver Academy (YRDA). His karting accolades in 2015 alone include MBKC Junior X30 Club Champion, MBKC Junior X30 Cup and Autumn Series Champion, as well as MBKC Junior X30 Winter Series Champion.
Although Jamie will remain part of the YRDA, both he and his father are not daunted by the prospect of taking on the F4 British Championship’s grid of established, high quality teams.
Said his father Joe Sharp: “Jamie has been doing a lot of testing and work with Arden over the last 18 months so he’s got quite a lot of experience.
“We decided to start our own team because we wanted to be in complete control and felt that it would be more fun for everyone. Family and friends are able to have greater involvement which means we can spend time together as we try to achieve our goals.
“Having my own international transport company (Sharp Freight) has also made starting up a team much easier because we already have a lot of the infrastructure in place with vehicles and workshops at our disposal.
“Arden have been so supportive of us. They’ve really looked after Jamie. We’ve done so much training and testing with them. It’s been fantastic, as has the support from championship organisers Racingline who have been helping us out as much as they can."
Jamie Sharp is unsurprisingly ecstatic about getting the opportunity to race in the UK’s leading single-seater series: “It’s a bit overwhelming in a way, but it’s going to be an incredible experience and I cannot wait to start my first full season racing in cars.
“Testing has gone really well. Every time I go out on the track I improve both my technique and times. I’m really enjoying learning about the car and it’s so much fun to drive."
According to the Rochdale racer there are some key elements which make competing in the F4 British Championship special: “The fact that it’s on the TOCA package and is the only single-seater support series for the BTCC is a huge plus. It brings with it a lot of attention from fans and the media.
“It is also amazing to race in a championship that has the backing of such a big automotive manufacturer in the form of Ford. To have their engines and EcoBoost technology in the British F4 car is fantastic.
“It’s very exciting to think that my single-seater career has every possibility of going on to even greater heights thanks to this first step with Ford. It gives me added motivation to succeed.”
Success is something that not only father Joe has his sights set on for his son, but also for other rising stars and motorsport talent close to home: “In addition to Jamie we want to be able to give youngsters with less budget the chance to compete and we are trying to source as many people from the North West because there aren’t any teams based in this part of the country.
“Although we will be a small team to begin with we want people to take us seriously. We want to give our drivers the best opportunities so that means giving them the best cars thanks to top engineering talent, as well as a team that looks the part.
“I want to do the best that I can next year and have fun too. If I can get used to the car as much as possible and get everything right before the season starts hopefully I can have a good 2017,” said Jamie Sharp ahead of his first Ford EcoBoost-powered campaign.
“I would love to win the championship in my first year, but I know the quality of the drivers in British F4 is incredibly high. It would be amazing to be up there at front. Ending 2017 as best of the newcomers would be a great achievement.”
“To be able to announce the arrival of two new teams to the F4 British Championship in less than a month is hugely exciting,” commented championship manager David Lowe. “It’s testament to the popularity of the series, but also the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes to make British F4 affordable and approachable for newcomers.
“With Sharp Motorsport joining our grid of esteemed teams we will have an outfit representing the North West of England. In addition to this, in Jamie Sharp the team has a driver with a very bright future ahead of him who has all the ingredients to succeed in the UK’s most competitive single-seater championship.”