Hillspeed has confirmed highly rated British driver Oliver Clarke as their first signing for the 2020 BRDC British F3 season.
Kings Lynn-based Clarke, who has been racing in the Formula 4 United States Championship since graduating from karts to cars in 2018, has already enjoyed successful tests in one of Hillspeed’s race winning BRDC British F3 Tatuus-Cosworths, and the 16-year-old has made a big impression on the team.
Last week at Donington Park, Clarke again got behind the wheel with the Derbyshire team as the squad enters its intensive winter testing campaign before its landmark 50th season in motorsport in 2020.
“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,” said team principal Richard Ollerenshaw, “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 so soon after the conclusion of the 2019 championship really is fantastic news for Hillspeed and puts us in a very good place. 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.”
Clarke started racing at the age of eight in 2011 and established a very successful karting career, becoming the youngest member of the then MSA Academy and being selected for the talent development pathway for two consecutive years.
In 2017, although still aged just 14 at the time, Clarke stepped-up into the senior ranks in karting and also branched out onto the European stage alongside domestic commitments. Ending the European Karting Championship Senior X30 Class an excellent third overall, he also won the OK Junior British Open title and was third overall in the OK Senior British Championship.
Moving into ‘slicks and wings’ cars in 2018 after heading across the Atlantic to America to race in the USA F4 Championship, Clarke scored the first points for the new Velocity Racing Development team with a highlight weekend at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas, supporting the United States Formula One Grand Prix. This year, he achieved a best result of fifth at Road Atlanta.
Commenting on his deal to graduate into British F3 with Hillspeed, Clarke said: “I’m over the moon to be able to confirm my plans for next year at such an early stage, huge thanks must go out to my family, 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.”
He added: “Joining a team with the pedigree that Hillspeed has is only going to serve me well too and I’ve every confidence we can enjoy plenty of success moving forward. I’m just raring to go to see what we can achieve together, hopefully towards the front of the field.”
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