2015 MSA Formula Season Preview


A new dawn in British single-seater racing will begin next weekend at Brands Hatch with MSA Formula launching its inaugural campaign in place of Formula Ford GB on the BTCC package.

Whilst the new FIA-endorsed championship replaces the historic British Formula Ford series, links with Ford remains with its Ecoboost engines powering the Mygale chassis’ that conform to the FIA’s worldwide Formula 4 concept.

Leading the entry are three car entries from a pair of the UK’s biggest single-seater outfits, Carlin and Arden, who both boast a reigning world karting champion in their ranks.

Carlin is the home of World KF Senior champion Lando Norris, who makes his much-anticipated move to single-seaters after a sparkling year in Ginetta Juniors, where four wins gave him third in the points in his maiden car-racing season.

Norris is joined by American Colton Herta, a former Pacific F1600 champion and son of IndyCar race-winner Bryan, and Romanian Petru Florescu, who returns to racing after suffering two broken legs in a karting accident last year, as Carlin aim for a title challenge alongside their campaigns in GP2, GP3, Formula Renault 3.5, FIA European F3 and Indy Lights.

Norris ..... - Credit: AS Autosport Photography
Norris Has Showed Leading Pace In Pre-Season Testing – Credit: AS Autosport Photography

Arden’s world karting star comes in the shape of Enaam Ahmed meanwhile, the World KF Junior champion making his car-racing debut following an extensive testing programme in both Formula 4 and Formula 3 machinery.

Also in the Arden awning is Ricky Collard, the only full-time front-runner from Formula Ford last year to join the series having taken five podiums in 2014, and reigning British Super One Junior Max karting champion Sandy Mitchell.

Both those squads have partaken in extensive testing programmes over the winter, but not far behind them in testing miles with the new cars have been fellow single-seater powerhouses Fortec Motorsport and Double R Racing.

Fortec are housing Josh Smith, who enters the series with Racing Steps Foundation backing, and fellow hotly-rated karting graduate Daniel Ticktum. Double R meanwhile have Indian racer Tarun Reddy, who competed in Formula Renault BARC last season, and Brazilian pairing Matheus Tobias Leist and Gustavo Myasava.

The transition from Formula Ford to MSA Formula has brought with it some of the leading squads from the final running of the former, JTR, Falcon Motorsport, Richardson Racing and MBM Motorsport.

JTR have had a productive winter of running with karting graduates James Pull and Daniel Baybutt, who have both adapted well to their new single-seater machinery, whilst the team have also put together a late deal with Ameya Vaidyanathan who will race from the second meeting onwards.

JTR ..... - Credit: AS Autosport Photography
JTR Are Aiming For More Success After Winning The Last Three Formula Ford Titles  – Credit: AS Autosport Photography

Reigning Formula Ford vice-champions Falcon meanwhile were relatively late to the testing party, but will start the season with two cars for Alexandra Marinescu and Darius Karbaley, whilst they are also in talks with Connor Hall over a third.

MBM have confirmed one car for the hotly-rated Jack Barlow, who was a race-winner in BRDC F4 in 2013, and while Richardson Racing got the jump on their former Ford sparring partners in terms of testing, they have yet to confirm a driver for an expected single-car entry for the Brands Hatch opener.

Joining them all are two stalwarts of the now defunct Formula Renault BARC championship, SWB Motorsport and Scorpio Motorsport.

Formula Renault graduate Jack Butel is joined at SWB by Brazilian Rafael Martins, a protégé of Formula 1 legend Rubens Barrichello, while reigning FR BARC vice-champion Piers Hickin is expected to link up with Scorpio for his third season of car-racing.

Two teams join the MSA Formula grid with plenty of experience of winning titles on the BTCC package, Team Pyro having won six drivers titles in the last seven years in the Renault UK Clio Cup, JHR Developments having won the Ginetta GT Supercup in 2013 and the Ginetta Junior title last year.

JHR house one of the most experienced single-seater drivers on the grid in Sennan Fielding, who will be targeting a championship challenge after a superb 2014 in which he won five races in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship and was a finalist in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

Fielding ..... - Credit: AS Autosport Photography
JHR Return To Single-Seaters In Partnership With Zip Karts – Credit: AS Autosport Photography

Pyro meanwhile are set to run one car for single-seater convert Ollie Pidgley, who moves across from tin-top racing after making his car-racing debut in the Michelin Clio Cup Series last season.

While entry numbers for the opening rounds haven’t matched those expected early in the winter when all 32 available chassis were sold amid huge interest, that shouldn’t detract from an impressive line-up for the opening weekend, with at least 18 cars set to take to the grid at Brands Hatch with more to follow later in the season.

Provisional 2015 MSA Formula Entry List:

Driver

Nationality Team Twitter

Enaam Ahmed

British Arden @Enaammotorsport

Jack Barlow

British MBM @JBarlowRacing
Daniel Baybutt British JTR

@dwbmotorsport

Jack Butel British SWB Motorsport

@96butel

Ricky Collard British Arden

@RickyCollard

Sennan Fielding

British JHR Developments @SennanFielding
Petru Florescu Romanian Carlin

@Petru_Florescu

Colton Herta

American Carlin @ColtonHerta
Matheus Tobias Leist Brazilian Double R Racing

@MatheusLeist

Alexandra Marinescu

Romanian Falcon Motorsport
Rafael Martins Brazilian SWB Motorsport

Sandy Mitchell

British Arden @SMitchellRacing
Gustavo Myasava Brazilian Double R Racing

@GustavoMyasava

Lando Norris

British Carlin @Landonorris1
Ollie Pidgley British Team Pyro

@OPidgleyRacing

James Pull

British JTR @jamespullracing
Tarun Reddy Indian Double R Racing

Josh Smith

British Fortec Motorsport @joshfsmith581
Daniel Ticktum British Fortec Motorsport

@DanTicktum

Ameya Vaidyanathan

Indian JTR