Reigning BRSCC National Formula Ford 1600 champion Chris Middlehurst has announced his graduation into the Protyre Formula Renault BARC Championship for 2012.
Chris, son of former BTCC racer Andy, competed in karting for five years before moving into car racing last year in Formula Ford 1600. Middlehurst enjoyed a sensational season, winning eight races in total as he won the BRSCC National, Northern and Champion of Oulton championships, while also finishing seventh in the Kent class at the Formula Ford Festival.
For 2012, Middlehurst considered stepping up to the the main MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain, but instead made the decision to move into 'slicks and wings' racing in Formula Renault BARC. His family’s Middlehurst Motorsport team have acquired their own car, which they plan to run themselves with some help from an existing team at race meetings.
Middlehurst said: “We have chosen BARC Formula Renault as a progression from Formula Ford 1600. I believe that gaining experience in Formula Ford has allowed me as a driver to earn some respect from other drivers and spectators. It has also aided me with coping with a race car in both a competitive and close racing environment whilst gaining a good mechanical understanding of set-up and diagnostics, in particular suspension, without the use of slick tyres and aero.
“The decision of choosing BARC Formula Renault over the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain came after speaking to numerous teams within both championships. As a team, we believed that although Formula Ford GB offered a good package, it was let down by the fact a lot of things were still undecided, such as chassis manufacturers, and gearbox and engine maintenance.
“The knowledge I have gained so far in my career, backed by my father's experience in his 30 years of racing; in combination with the correct team choice, should as a package back me up with my aim to win the championship this season.”