Hillspeed announces 2-car plan
Multiple championship-winning motor racing squad Hillspeed has become the first team to confirm it will enter the newly announced GB4 Championship in 2022, creating a seamless ladder of progression for drivers through GB4 and into the squad’s successful GB3 Championship team. Officially unveiled by GB3 organisers MotorSport Vision (MSV) earlier this week, the exciting new GB4 Championship has been created as a cost-effective route into single-seater racing for young drivers, from the age of 15, who are making the step-up from karting or club-level car racing.
Markham Vale-based Hillspeed, which has been part of GB3 and – under its previous titles – BRDC British Formula 3 and BRDC Formula 4 since 2013, will field a two-car entry in the maiden season of GB4 next year and is welcoming driver enquiries ahead of taking delivery of its Tatuus F4-T014 cars. Designed as a prime feeder category for GB3, the new GB4 category is set to run at the very same British GT Championship events as the more senior championship with plans in place for a 21-race season across seven meetings. Official test days are also set to be shared between GB4 and GB3.
Notably, and very importantly, GB4 will be significantly more cost-effective than FIA F4 when the latter’s new car is introduced for 2022. Budgets for GB4, which will race at the UK’s premier tracks, are expected to range somewhere between £120,000 and £150,000. Utilising the established Tatuus F4-T014 chassis in GB4, which has been racing incredibly successfully over the last few years in Italian F4, Spanish F4 and the ADAC Formula 4 series in Germany, the car will be powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine which produces 160bhp.
Mountune, the engine partner for GB3, will also work within GB4 in conjunction with Tatuus and Autotecnica Motori, to ensure optimum performance and parity across the championship. Another synergy with GB3 will be the use of Sunoco control fuel and Pirelli tyres. Fantastically, MSV is putting up an impressive prize fund of £50,000 for the inaugural GB4 Champion to go towards a drive in GB3 in 2023. More details about a fuller prize structure will be released in due course by the championship organisers.
Announcing Hillspeed’s participation in GB4, team principal Richard Ollerenshaw said: “This really is a fantastic announcement by MSV, it demonstrates – once again – Jonathan Palmer and Giles Butterfield clearly understand the industry and the needs of young drivers. GB4 focuses on providing incredible value for money and an opportunity for drivers to follow their single-seater dream. Due to the increasing costs of FIA F4, many talented young drivers may have been directed towards closed-wheel racing without realising their potential in single-seaters, GB4 changes all of that and Hillspeed is delighted to be today confirming our support of, and participation in, GB4 next year with a two-car entry.”
Ollerenshaw added: “This also means we will offer a seamless ladder of progression in-house at Hillspeed, through GB4 and into GB3, with all of the experience we have gained in over 50 years within motorsport. This will be the perfect environment in which drivers can benefit from the Hillspeed Driver Development Programme, an absolute cornerstone of our operations. I’m also delighted to announce Hillspeed’s GB4 drivers will receive a complimentary test in one of our GB3 cars at the end of the 2022 season and the highest placed Hillspeed driver in GB4 next year will also receive a financial support package to help graduate into GB3 with the team. Jonathan [Palmer] and Giles [Butterfield] deserve a huge amount of credit for creating another superb, cost-effective championship which I know will deliver outstanding racing and the stars of the future.”
MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer said: “I’m delighted that Hillspeed has elected to join our new GB4 Championship. Richard Ollerenshaw and his father Morgan have enormous experience running young drivers and understand the importance of providing exceptional value for them, knowing many have tight budgets. The team has a proven track record with a superb alumni list, and I’m thrilled that their expansion plans include branching out into GB4. They will be a very competitive option for drivers in both GB3 and GB4 in 2022.”