The F4 British Championship will welcome two more names to the 2017 grid with GW Motorsport featuring for the first time. Driving for them will be Jacky Liu, who will become the series first Chinese driver.
The new team, run by former competitor Gary Ward, will likely start off their life on a relatively low-budget. Ward was pleased with the performances of JHR Developments this season despite their limited finance and was keen to replicate it.
“The racing is so close. When you see the likes of Sennan Fielding and JHR Developments competing for the title on a low-budget you know that it’s possible to race at the front.” Ward started.
“There are so many elements which put the F4 British Championship ahead of other series; including how well it’s policed from a technical point of view, how well it’s marketed, the professionalism and approachability of Racingline who organise the championship, the MSA driver coaching and data sharing programme, as well as being on the TOCA package with a huge volume of spectators and live TV coverage.”
As for his driver, Liu, he won’t be a stranger to single-seater cars. He spent the second half of 2016 competing in the Monoposto F3 series, collecting a personal best of sixth at Donington Park. He finished the year sixteenth in the standings, on 29 points.
“I have competed in a number of races in the UK and then gone back to China to find that I was able to win more easily. It became almost effortless.”
Talking about his trophy hopes, he said; “Of course everyone wants to win the title. That’s the goal for all drivers. I will try my best to make that happen. It takes a lot of hard work, but anything truly worthwhile is never easy.
“To be the first Chinese driver to compete in British F4 will mean a lot to me. The quality of drivers in British F4 is much higher than in China. It’s far more competitive.”
His home country does have its own F4 championship, though has not yet proven to be a successful breeding ground. So far, only 4 of the 22 races (over two seasons) have been won by Chinese drivers, of which two of those wins came in exclusively Chinese filled events.
China itself is not short of talent though, with Ye Yifei having already won the French F4 title this year with one round to spare.