It’s no secret that BRDC Formula 4 is an obvious choice, among others, for drivers in karting that are looking to move into the car world. With previous champions including karting graduates, Jake Hughes and George Russell there’s a good chance that plenty of more karters will follow in their footsteps. With that in mind I headed to Bedford Autodrome to find out more about this years car.
On arrival I was first taken around the workshop before getting the seat fitted. After that it was time for a run in the JPLM car alongside driver coach Kieren Clark, which was really great as I was able to learn all the basics with someone alongside me.
It then came time for me to jump in the new Tatuus-Cosworth MSV F4-016 and when the 2 litre Duratec engine was fired up I couldn’t wait to get going. Packed with 230bhp and a max torque of 235nm the noise is something sensational when it starts up and you can hardly hear yourself think when you’re going round! I took it easy to start with but the impressive aerodynamics on the car helped me to settle in very fast. You can go flat at corners where you think you should be in 4th and the brakes have enough feel to avoid locking up. All of these aspects is what really would be put karters at ease.
If I’m honest the car was a lot easier to get used to than I thought it would be. Okay that might have been helped from the setup on the car but all in all for someone who has never driven a car like that I thought it was almost, well, easy. But saying that going 130mph was not boring and I could of driven the thing all day but for anyone looking to get into cars I wouldn’t be too intimidated by this! That was certainly proven when 15 year old Casper Roes Anderson came along in the afternoon and beat my time by over a second, impressive!
What also made it easier is that between each session I was shown the onboard data and video footage and was able to see exactly where I was going wrong. In total I did around 3 15 minute sessions with around 5-10 minute breaks in between so it was pretty full on, but I suppose that’s better, right?
So why this is the karting mag I can hear you ask? Well I know a lot of people will be very content with either just staying in karting or have come to the conclusion that it is all they can afford and that’s fine. The latter is in fact what I did myself. But this is certainly a route into cars many karters will take and if we can help by giving you all the information possible before going to test one yourself than that’s a great thing in my opinion.
All in all I think the car is amazing, the test day was an experience I’ll never forget and the championship is always full of karters. With the prize being a test in a GP3 car (with ART) and £35,000 there’s no doubt they want to help drivers get to the next stage, rather than keep them in the championship.
To find out more information or enquire about testing next years car you can find all the details on their website; www.formula4.com or you can contact them directly at 01297 552697
This article was originally published in Karting magazine in September 2015 and was written by Chris McCarthy