Luke Whitworth has embarked upon a winter testing programme with title-winning outfit JTR ahead of a planned graduation into the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain in 2013.

Whitworth, who has just completed a third season in karting, is looking to make his car-racing debut in the BTCC-supporting series next season, with the 17 year old MSA Academy member having already tested a Ford Ecoboost car at Donington Park, Snetterton, Silverstone and Brands Hatch.

“It’s been mega so far it’s a new adventure, and I’m so excited about it all,” said Whitworth. “I’ve primarily been trying to build up my confidence in the car, especially in the faster corners – finding out how hard I can push without going too far, too soon and straying over the limit. I’ve been very wary of not attempting to run before I can walk, because what I need more than anything at the moment is mileage.

“The main objective is to learn as much as I can and extract the maximum out of my potential, and it’s been encouraging to see the improvements I’ve been making with each test, as well as my feedback and consistency.”

JTR team principal Nick Tandy commented:  “He has been hugely impressive. I mean that not just in terms of his ability inside the car, but also his whole persona and attitude out of it. Everybody in the team from the mechanics to the data engineers has really appreciated working with Luke.

“On top of that, for a guy with such limited racing experience under his belt, his speed in the car straight out-of-the-box was exceptional – and he has got quicker-and-quicker every time he has taken to the track, which is precisely what we are looking for.”

Whitworth added: “JTR is an extremely slick operation, and they’ve made the whole experience really enjoyable. The boys have all been great; they’re a lot of fun to work with and we’re getting along really well. They’ve been helping me to analyse the data and explaining everything in a lot of detail to make it easy for me to understand. I can’t fault them in any way, and they seem pretty happy with my pace and overall performance so far, too.”