OLIVER CLARKE JOINS HILLSPEED FOR 2020 BRDC BRITISH FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP

Oliver Clarke will graduate to the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship in 2020 after signing with race-winning outfit Hillspeed.

The 16-year-old makes a move to the series after several strong performances in the F4 United States Championship powered by Honda over the past two seasons.

Stepping up to the single-seater ranks having enjoyed unrivalled success in karting, the Norfolk-based racer set about making his mark stateside with a string of eye-catching performances, taking a best finish of fifth at Road Atlanta earlier this year.

Whilst he has made a name for himself behind the wheel, Clarke continues to reap the benefits of the expertise passed on by Fewkes Sports Management, a boutique sports management agency that develop elite racing drivers and represent him.

As part of his 2020 evaluation process, Clarke got to grips with the Tatuus-Cosworth F3 car at Oulton Park and Donington Park earlier in the year – gelling with the rear-wheel-drive machine instantly.

Completing a deal with what is widely regarded as one of the most successful teams in UK motorsport, Clarke is relishing the prospect of working with Hillspeed and has his sights set on becoming a regular front-runner in the championship next year.

Commenting on his move to the prestigious championship that has propelled the careers of so many drivers, Clarke said: “I’m over the moon to be able to confirm my plans for next year at such an early stage; a huge thanks must go out to my family, FSM, partners and sponsors for helping me to be in the position that I am now in.

“The BRDC British F3 Championship is a proven championship and the perfect platform for me at this point in my career and age. Having tested the car in recent weeks it quickly became apparent as to how good the car is, and that made things even clearer that this is what we wanted to do.

“Joining a team with the pedigree that Hillspeed has is only going to serve me well too and I’ve every confidence that we can enjoy plenty of success moving forward. I’m just raring to go and can’t wait to see what we can achieve together. Hopefully towards the front of the field.”

Hillspeed Team Principal, Richard Ollerenshaw, added: “It goes without saying how delighted we are to have completed a deal with Oliver to race with Hillspeed in BRDC British F3 next season. He’s a terrific young talent, an exceptionally promising young driver, and he’s already shown his ability during the testing we’ve done together so far.

“Securing our first 2020 driver signing just ahead of the final weekend of the current campaign really is fantastic news for Hillspeed and puts us in a very good place ahead of the off-season.

“I’m very confident Oliver will quickly establish himself as a strong contender in his maiden year of Formula 3, and we’re looking forward to helping nurture and develop his obvious skills.”

To find out more information on the BRDC British F3 Championship, Hillspeed and Fewkes Sports Management, click the links.

OLIVER CLARKE PRODUCES BATTLING F4 PERFORMANCE IN PITTSBURGH

Oliver Clarke endured a frustrating second event of the season in the F4 United States Championship powered by Honda this past weekend (June 21/22/23) as he tackled the Pittsburgh International Raceway.

Coming off the back of a battling performance at the Road Atlanta season-opener, the Velocity Racing Development driver had his sights on fighting further towards the front and scoring a another solid haul of points.

Having been fully focussed on his exams back at home in recent months, Clarke returned to American soil keen to get back behind the wheel and joined a majority of the grid for a two-day test in Pittsburgh prior to the event.

Fine-tuning the car during the test and then free practice, the 16-year-old endured a tough qualifying session around the 17-turn, 2.78-mile circuit. Setting a best time of 1:43.235, the Fewkes Sports Management hotshot ultimately finished the ultra-competitive battle for pole position back in 15th.

Lining up on the eighth row of the grid for race one, Clarke didn’t stay in 15th for long as he was on the move as soon as the lights went out. Scything his way past a handful of drivers during the opening stages, Clarke was soon into the top ten and on the back of an almighty scrap for seventh place.

Tucked up behind Christian Brooks, the former karting champion attempted to utilise all of his overtaking prowess but was unable to make a move, settling for tenth place as he took the chequered flag.

With the grid for the second race of the weekend determined by drivers’ in-race fastest lap from the opening encounter, the Norfolk-based racer lined up on the grid in tenth.

Dropping the clutch as the action roared into life, Clarke found himself in the thick of the action but sadly dropped down the order and ultimately finished a lap down on the leaders.

Keen to bring the curtain down on his weekend with a high, the sophomore season racer started the third and final 15-lap sprint from 14th.

In what proved to be another exhilarating encounter, the teenager narrowly missed on another top ten finish as he hounded the back of Josh Bethune and Guilherme Peixoto – ultimately crossing the line in 11th.

Oliver Clarke: “It has been a tough weekend and I don’t think the results are a fair reflection of the pace and potential we had coming into the weekend. We’re learning as a team all the time however and although the results haven’t fallen our way there are plenty of positives to take away.

“One top ten finish is frustrating but we are well aware of how competitive this championship is as a whole and it is still wide open.

“I don’t think we are too far away from that breakthrough result; we’ve just got to keep working hard as a team, make progress and I’m sure it will come.”

OLIVER CLARKE AIMING FOR PITTSBURGH PODIUMS AS F4 UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP CONTINUES

Oliver Clarke will return to action in the F4 United States Championship powered by Honda next weekend (June 21/22/23) as the Pittsburgh International Raceway plays host to Rounds 4, 5 & 6 of what is proving to be an ultra-competitive 2019 season.

Having been one of the stars of the show at the Road Atlanta season-opener, battling back from an engine fire to score a career-best finish of fifth, the 16-year-old is fully focused on further making his mark towards the sharp end of the grid.

Spearheading Velocity Racing Development’s charge in the single-seater category, the former karting ace is no stranger to the 2.8 mile Pittsburgh International Race Complex having competed at the venue for the first time last year, scoring a best finish of 11th.

Sitting ninth in the Drivers’ Championship currently, the Fewkes Sports Management driver has his sights set on scoring a breakthrough podium finish as he bids to kick his campaign up a gear.

 

Oliver Clarke: “It has felt like an eternity since I was last behind the wheel so I’m looking forward to getting back Stateside and seeing what we can achieve. The past month or so has been purely focused on my exams too so it will be good test myself in a different way.

“Heading to Pittsburgh we can be optimistic of what we can achieve; had it not been for the fire in race one at Road Atlanta then our weekend could have been very different in terms of results. Everyone at Velocity Racing Development has been working hard since the season-opener and I have every faith that they will give me a car capable of being right at the front.

“We were close to the podium last time out and that has to be the aim in Pittsburgh. The championship is shaping up to be ultra-competitive and I’m ready for the fight!”

OLIVER CLARKE DIGS DEEP TO SCORE CAREER-BEST F4 UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP FINISH

Returning for a second year in the ultra-competitive single-seater series with Velocity Racing Development, the 16-year-old scored a career-best finish of fifth place in the third and final encounter of the weekend – capping off a memorable comeback.

After refining the car during both practice sessions around the 2.54 mile circuit, qualifying looked set to be a frenetic session however Clarke and the rest of the grid would ultimately be unable to take to the track to duke it out for pole position.

Heavy rain, strong winds and lightening caused flash floods at the venue and qualifying was cancelled, with grid positions for the season-opener based on the fastest times from practice – meaning Clarke would line up ninth for round one.

Lining up inside the top ten, the Norfolk-based racer enjoyed a strong start to the seven-lap encounter however his aspirations of the podium were dashed soon after as an engine failure forced him to grind to a fiery halt.

With substantial damage to his rear-wheel-drive machine, Velocity Racing Development worked overnight to ready the #62 for race two the following day, and Clarke repaid his team’s hard work with a scintillating performance.

Starting from the pit lane, the former karting ace underlined his overtaking prowess as he scythed his through the order, securing one jaw-dropping overtake after another.

Dispatching a handful of drivers on the opening tour, Clarke soon became a force to be reckoned with as his striking VRD machine firstly edged into the top 20, and then into the top 15.

Hounding the back of Ryan MacDermid and Wyatt Brichacek in the closing laps, the British teenage sensation narrowly missed out on the top ten at the chequered flag, instead settling for 12th overall.

Virtue of the starting grid for race three being based on the fastest lap times from the previous race, Clarke lined up on the outside of the front row for the final encounter in second place.

Lacking rear tyre temperature, Clarke lost a handful of spots as the lights went out but was soon back on the tale of the leading pack. Try as he might, Clarke was unable to find his way past those ahead of him and crossed the line in fifth – his best finish to-date in the championship.

Oliver Clarke:

“Kicking off the weekend, we made lots of improvements throughout testing and we lined up for race one feeling confident. Sadly an engine fire put pay to our chances of making an impact towards the front of the field.

“The team were brilliant and a lot of credit must go to them as they worked through the night to ensure we could get on the grid for races two and three the next day. To go from the pit lane to 12th in that second race was fantastic and set us up for a strong final race.

“Wheel spin off the line and then being pushed wide early on scuppered our progress but we bounced back and brought the car home in fifth, which is my best finish to date in the championship.

“Looking ahead to the next round I’m confident that we will be firmly in the mix towards the front. We can take a lot of positives from the opening event and there is still a little bit of speed to find but we will get there. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do next time.”

Following the opening round of the season, Clarke leaves Road Atlanta sitting ninth in the Drivers’ Championship.

The F4 United States Championship powered by Honda resumes at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex on June 21/22/23 for the second event of the season.

OLIVER CLARKE READY TO KICK OFF F4 UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP CAMPAIGN AT ROAD ATLANTA

Oliver Clarke will lift the curtain on his 2019 F4 United States Championship powered by Honda season this week (April 18/19/20) at Road Atlanta, with his sights set firmly on making a strong start to the new campaign.

Coming off the back of an impressive debut season in the single-seater series last year, the British teenager will spearhead the Velocity Racing Development (VRD) entry as he bids to make his mark on American soil.

Establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with on the international karting scene growing up, Clarke made the jump into F4 in early 2018 with Benik before switching to VRD later in the year, where he ultimately went on to produce a stellar performance at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) as part of the Formula 1 support package.

In front of a packed crowd of more than 300,000 people, the 16-year-old delivered a scintillating drive to bag a seventh place finish and hand VRD their maiden points in the series.

Having worked tirelessly both on and off the track over the off-season, Clarke returns to the championship for a full campaign and is focused on becoming a front-running contender from the outset.

Oliver Clarke:

I’m really looking forward to Road Atlanta and the opening round of the F4 United States Championship, it is set to be an exciting weekend and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and get out on track.

With plenty of elevation changes and numerous blind corners the track is a challenging one and I’ve been making sure I am prepared as well as I can be on the SIM; using all of my knowledge from last year’s championship event there.

Myself and Velocity Racing Development had a solid start to our partnership at the end of last year and the aim coming into this weekend is to improve and build on that. If we can score some solid points, stay out of trouble and kick things off in the right direction then I’ll be happy.”

The 2019 F4 United States Championship powered by Honda campaign will see three races take place at Road Atlanta this week. For more information on the timetable and relevant event links, click here.

OLIVER CLARKE JOINS FEWKES SPORT MANAGEMENT RANKS AHEAD OF F4 USA ASSAULT

Fewkes Sport Management is delighted to confirm that it will represent Oliver Clarke for the forthcoming 2019 season, as the British racer heads Stateside to compete in the F4 United States Championship powered by Honda.

Having showcased his potential in the single-seater category last year following a successful spell in karting, the teenager will return to contest a full campaign spearheading a two-car Velocity Racing Development (VRD) entry.

With an abundance of first-hand experience within the motorsport industry globally through the years, Fewkes Sports Management will work with Clarke to further enhance his performance in a number of different key areas both on and off the track.

Commenting on aligning himself with Fewkes Sport Management, Clarke said:

“Returning to the F4 United States Championship is a very exciting prospect for me and I’m thrilled to be doing it with Fewkes Sport Management.

Will Fewkes has a vast amount of experience in athlete management and the promotion of high-profile racing championships around the world, which I am sure will give me that extra edge in my development. I built some excellent foundations during my debut campaign in 2018, and I would say that I am very confident that myself and Velocity Racing Development can challenge at the front with the package that we have.”

Will Fewkes, Fewkes Sport Management Director, added:

“I’m delighted to announce Oliver Clarke under the Fewkes Sport Management banner ahead of his campaign in the 2019 F4 United States Championship. Oliver has some brilliant credentials and I have no doubt that he will become a real contender during his second season in the championship.

Fewkes Sports Management possesses a great amount of experience within the motorsport market as a whole, and I very much look forward to working with Oliver to achieve his future goals.”

Clarke will kick off the 2019 F4 United States Championship powered by Honda season at Road Atlanta in Georgia on April 18/19/20