09 Mar International kart champion Oliver York joins British F4’s Challenge Cup
IAME X30 international junior kart champion and Super One champion Oliver York has signed with Fortec Motorsports to contest the Ford F4 Challenge Cup. A new initiative for 2017, introduced by organisers of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford, to enable drivers to compete for under £100,000.
Although York’s sights are set on Challenge Cup success, he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of gunning for the crown of FIA British Formula 4 Champion and the 12 FIA Super Licence points that go with it. The 15-year-old is eyeing up a double title tilt should he get his campaign off to a flying start, with drivers competing in the Challenge Cup also eligible to score points in the overall championship.
Said York: “I’m very excited to join the F4 British Championship with Fortec Motorsports. It’s the world’s most competitive junior single-seater series, with live television coverage and thousands of trackside spectators at every meeting.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me to showcase my talent against some of the fastest and most exciting motor racing prospects.
“It’s the best championship to go into from karting and to begin my single-seater career with Fortec is even more special. The team know what it takes to succeed and they have been brilliant at helping me to understand the car.
“Testing has been going really well. I’m learning every lap and I’m confident we can achieve some brilliant results. I think we can fight for the Ford F4 Challenge Cup and have a shot at the British F4 title if everything goes to plan.”
Fortec Motorsports head into the 2017 British F4 season on the back of a stellar 2016 campaign, having won the Rookie Class title with Alex Quinn who claimed a remarkable 16 class wins, including three overall race victories.
Commented Fortec Motorsports team manager Dan Mitchell: “Oliver has a lot to learn, but he is unquestionably a very talented and promising young racer. He’s a double karting champion so comes into this season with a winning mentality.
“It’s going to be a tough year with the British F4 grid shaping up to be incredibly competitive yet again, but we’re confident Oliver can go really well in 2017.
“We’re very keen to do an excellent job with him this season, especially after how well he has performed in testing.”
Mitchell’s cautious optimism is not misplaced with York having impressed in his official pre-season test debut at Brands Hatch Indy which saw him finish third on the timesheets, just a tenth adrift of the fastest time. This was followed up at Donington Park, by comfortably ending the test inside the top 10.
York’s step up to the UK’s leading single-seater series represents an important milestone for Richard Dutton’s Fortec squad, as York is the first product of the team’s junior driver programme to progress from karting to Formula 4.
Andy Priaulx Sports Management (APSM) have also played an integral role in York’s development and will look to combine their expert mentoring, advanced training technology and performance psychology in a bid to give York the edge on track.
Explained York: “Being part of the Fortec Motorsports junior driver programme has been a key part of my development and the fantastic support of APSM has accelerated my progression further. I hope we can carry my championship-winning momentum from karting into cars this season.”
York’s quest for glory in the F4 British Championship and Ford F4 Challenge Cup commences in the inaugural rounds of the season on 1/2 April at Brands Hatch. The Ford EcoBoost-powered series will play a starring role on the live-televised TOCA package alongside the ever-popular British Touring Car Championship.